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Mountain observatories: status and prospects to enhance and connect a global community

Shahgedanova, M. ORCID:, Adler, C., Gebrekirstos, A., Grau, H. R., Huggel, C., Marchant, R., Pepin, N., Vanacker, V., Viviroli, D. and Vuille, M. (2021) Mountain observatories: status and prospects to enhance and connect a global community. Mountain Research and Development, 41 (2). A1-A15. ISSN 1994-7151

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-20-00054.1


Mountainous regions are globally important as they support large populations, are biodiverse and are characterised 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 socio-economic 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 multi-disciplinary 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 socio-economic variables in the mountains. We propose principles and ways of connecting existing initiatives, supporting emerging areas and developing new mountain observatories 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, GEO Mountains, a GEO Work Programme Initiative.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:98513
Uncontrolled Keywords:Mountains, long-term monitoring, elevation gradients, climate change, data networks, GEO Mountains, palaeoenvironments, remote sensing
Publisher:International Mountain Society (IMS) and United Nations University


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