Mountain Social-Ecological Futures

In an era characterized by climate change, economic shifts, and transformative societal dynamics, mountainous regions face unprecedented challenges and opportunities. This Working Group emphasises the need for positive narratives and seeks to connect with other MRI research strands. Its primary goal is to exchange innovative ideas to imagine and shape new responses to the ongoing unprecedented climate-driven social-ecological changes in mountain areas. Additionally, it aims to create an urgently needed community of practice for proactively managing these new resources in a sustainable manner.

Key Working Group Details

This Working Group was proposed as an MRI Science Leadership Council-led flagship initiative for the period spanning 2023-2026. It is currently in its preparatory phase.


  • Collect and synthesize experiences on adaptive and transformative capacities of mountain social-ecological systems (to be defined based on risks, nature’s contribution to people (NCP), existing infrastructures, and other variables).
  • Co-define a global research agenda with local knowledge that could be applicable to these emerging spaces and their downstream areas.
  • Shape monitoring systems of deglaciating areas (e.g.: soil, water, vegetation).
  • Identify innovative projects in these regions and their characteristics to be promoted by the MRI.

Outputs and outcomes can also serve as useful inputs to the work of other existing MRI Working Groups.

Working Group Co-Leads


The Working Group co-leads will establish both a core group and additional means for members and participants to engage in its activities. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.

Outputs and Achievements to Date

  • Survey on challenges and opportunities provided by deglaciating areas (2022).
  • Session at the International Association for Ecology (INTECOL) 2022, plus expression of interest for a special issue on “Assessment of tools to capture climate, social, economic and policy-driven social-ecological changes in mountain areas”.

Planned Activities and Outputs

The Working Group co-leads will finalize the activities scheduled for this WG during the preparatory phase in 2023. Additional information, including details on how to join, will be forthcoming.

How to Join

The Mountain Social-Ecological Futures Working Group welcomes participation from MRI Governing Body members and additional experts from the MRI network who possess relevant expertise and can contribute to the planned activities, outputs, and outcomes. Broader participation from across the MRI network is encouraged, especially from early career researchers (ECRs) and experts from under-represented regions and developing countries. Register your interest by filling out this form.

Images by: Ignacio Palomo.