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Mountain observatories: status and prospects for enhancing and connecting a global community


Shahgedanova, Maria; Adler, Carolina; Gebrekirstos, Aster; Grau, H Ricardo; Huggel, Christian; Marchant, Robert; Pepin, Nicholas; Vanacker, Veerle; Viviroli, Daniel; Vuille, Mathias (2021). Mountain observatories: status and prospects for enhancing and connecting a global community. Mountain Research and Development, 41(2):A1-A15.

Abstract

Mountainous regions are globally important, in part because they support large populations and are biodiverse. They are also characterized by enhanced vulnerability to anthropogenic pressures and sensitivity to climate change. This importance necessitates the development of a global reference network of long-term environmental and socioeconomic monitoring—mountain observatories. At present, monitoring is limited and unevenly distributed across mountain regions globally. Existing thematic networks do not fully support the generation of multidisciplinary knowledge required to inform decisions, enact drivers of sustainable development, and safeguard against losses. In this paper, the Mountain Observatories Working Group, established by the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) Science Leadership Council, identifies geographical and thematic gaps as well as recent advances in monitoring of relevant biophysical and socioeconomic variables in the mountains. We propose principles and ways of connecting existing initiatives, supporting emerging areas, and developing new mountain observatory networks regionally and, eventually, globally. Particularly in the data-poor regions, we aspire to build a community of researchers and practitioners in collaboration with the Global Network on Observations and Information in Mountain Environments, Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Mountains, a GEO Work Programme Initiative.

Abstract

Mountainous regions are globally important, in part because they support large populations and are biodiverse. They are also characterized by enhanced vulnerability to anthropogenic pressures and sensitivity to climate change. This importance necessitates the development of a global reference network of long-term environmental and socioeconomic monitoring—mountain observatories. At present, monitoring is limited and unevenly distributed across mountain regions globally. Existing thematic networks do not fully support the generation of multidisciplinary knowledge required to inform decisions, enact drivers of sustainable development, and safeguard against losses. In this paper, the Mountain Observatories Working Group, established by the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) Science Leadership Council, identifies geographical and thematic gaps as well as recent advances in monitoring of relevant biophysical and socioeconomic variables in the mountains. We propose principles and ways of connecting existing initiatives, supporting emerging areas, and developing new mountain observatory networks regionally and, eventually, globally. Particularly in the data-poor regions, we aspire to build a community of researchers and practitioners in collaboration with the Global Network on Observations and Information in Mountain Environments, Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Mountains, a GEO Work Programme Initiative.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Environmental Science, Development, Environmental Chemistry
Language:English
Date:2 June 2021
Deposited On:02 Sep 2021 09:18
Last Modified:02 Sep 2021 09:19
Publisher:International Mountain Society
ISSN:0276-4741
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1659/mrd-journal-d-20-00054.1

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