Transformative Change as a Response to Climate Change in Mountain Social-Ecological Systems (TRANSMOUNT)
MRI News
article written by MRI
23.10.19 | 05:10

Between 1-3 September 2019, 14 researchers representing eight countries – Spain, France, Switzerland, UK, Sweden, Norway, Peru, Australia – came together in Sopuerta, Spain. Their purpose? To synthesize the knowledge resulting from existing transformation initiatives and Nature Based Solutions (NBS) that are emerging in response to global change in mountains.

The workshop, which was funded by the MRI as part of its 2019 Call for Synthesis Workshops, had several aims: Firstly, to develop a framework to assess the process and outcomes of transformative change in mountains; secondly, to test the framework through a series of case studies in which participants have broad working experience; and thirdly, to create a research plan, as well as an outline for a publication, and to allocate tasks to move towards the aims of TRANSMOUNT in the coming months.

“A further valuable aspect of this workshop was the chance to maintain and expand a network of researchers in mountains and climate change, and to do some preliminary studies in this area – for which I start a four-year project in February at the CNRS,” said workshop organizer Ignacio Palomo of the Basque Centre for Climate Change. “We are very grateful to the MRI for the opportunity to bring together this great group of scientists to explore this exciting and necessary topic.”

Over the course of the three-day workshop, participants shared presentations and took part in brain-storming, plenary, and group discussions. A literature review was undertaken, along with the discussion of preliminary results and the selection of the most ideal case studies.

“This was one of my best workshops in quite some years, scoring super high on multiple dimensions!” – Sandra Lavorel, Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, CNRS.

These activities enabled the development of a framework and the identification of a set of variables to assess the process and outcomes of transformative change in mountains. In the coming months, this framework will be tested through a series of case studies, having already been tested using the PANORAMA database.

“One of the challenges the workshop threw up was the difficulty to differentiate incremental adaptation to transformative change, depending on the context,” said Palomo. “And looking to the future, I would recommend long-term studies of how certain processes produce transformative change, or how transformative change happens over long time periods, such as a few decades.” 

This workshop was organized by the Basque Centre for Climate Change, and funded by the MRI as part of its Call for Synthesis Workshops 2019.

For more information about this workshop and the related planned activities, please contact the workshop organizer: