MRI Global Newsletter | October 2017

MRI Global Newsletter | October 2017

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MRI Global Newsletter

October 2017




News brief from the MRI office | October 2017 | Engagement activities & planning for the future

Bern Swiss Flag MountainOctober has been a busy month for the MRI office! We've attended and participated in key international events, and taken some intense initial steps towards internal planning and strategy-building for the MRI's new focus from 2018 onwards.

On behalf of the MRI, Executive Director Dr. Carolina Adler attended a number of events in October. These included the IPCC's first authors meeting for the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) held in Fiji and the General Assembly of the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) held in Shiraz, Iran.

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The world’s mountains at your fingertips

mountains from aboveA new tool gives the most detailed view yet of the world’s mountains – and is as close as your computer or mobile phone. 

Mountains occupy between 12 and 31 percent of the land surface of the globe, are home to diverse populations, ecosystems, and wildlife, and are a key provider of essential resources. But despite their importance, attempts to scientifically define and map mountain regions worldwide have been limited up to now.

The Global Mountain Explorer, launched at the recent GEO WEEK 2017 in Washington DC, is a new, web-based tool that allows users to explore mountain regions in greater detail than ever before. Harnessing the best available data, the tool provides information ranging from global mountain distribution to local topography at a resolution 16 times greater than has been achieved in previous mapping efforts. In doing so, it is hoped that this tool will be of use to a variety of individuals and organizations, from scientists and policymakers to hikers planning their next adventure.

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Call for input: Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) 2019

wind farm 200x150The GSDR is being drafted by an independent group of scientists (IGS), supported by a task team of six UN-system agencies. As part of its outreach efforts, the IGS is soliciting inputs from a diverse group of scientific and non-scientific communities. 

Contributions are sought in four major areas:
  • Interactions among Sustainable Development Goals and their targets
  • Transformation pathways towards sustainable development
  • Looking beyond the SDGs (major issues identified by research which are not explicitly taken into account in the SDGs)
  • The role of science for sustainable development.
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Global Assessments - IPCC & IPBES

ama dablam himalayaExperts gathered in Fiji to begin drafting the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) - and a call for contributions on Indigenous and Local Knowledge for the IPBES Global Assessment has been issued.

IPCC - Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC)
From 2-6 October 2017, Coordinating Lead Authors (CLAs) and Lead Authors (LAs) selected for the SROCC met in Fiji for the first author’s meeting to define the process and content for the approved outline of the report, including Chapter 2 on 'High Mountains' in which MRI's Executive Director, Carolina Adler, participated as one of the chapter's eleven LAs. 

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MRD Call for Papers: Food security & sustainable development in mountains

201710 MRDCall

The journal Mountain Research and Development is looking for papers that contribute to a better understanding of food security - a key concern for sustainable development in mountain areas.

Submissions should present validated insights into development solutions for reducing malnutrition and increasing food security for mountain people; analyze food systems in mountains against the background of global trends and the need for conserving ecosystems; or offer agendas for research or policymaking aimed at increasing the sustainability of food systems in mountains.

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Funding opportunity: Scenarios of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Funding Opportunity!The Belmont Forum and BiodivERsA have announced a joint call for research proposals on 'Scenarios of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.'

Twenty-five nations are participating, with a provisional sum of over EUR 25 million having been committed. This collaborative funding effort aims to address the following major (non-exclusive) priorities: 

  • Development and application of scenarios of biodiversity and ecosystem services across spatial scales of relevance to multiple types of decisions
  • Consideration of multiple dimensions of biodiversity and ecosystem services in biodiversity scenarios

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Call for postgraduate students: Afromontane Research Unit

afromontane ufsThe Afromontane Research Unit (ARU) is announcing a call for postgraduate students at all levels of study (Honours, Masters and Doctoral). The ARU is looking for outstanding students to contribute to vital new research on ecosystems and people of the Maluti-Drakensberg mountains.

Postgraduate studies in mountain development span a range of topics, across the faculties of Education, Humanities, Natural & Agricultural Sciences, and Economics & Business Management. Importantly, this call for postgraduate applications is not simply restricted to a specific disciplinary focus – much of the research done at the ARU combines social and natural sciences, giving students experience in trans- and multidisciplinary research, with more than one method of knowledge production.

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Attached Files :
ARU postgrads_Advert.pdf


PhD opportunity at the University of Sheffield

firth court sheffield university The University of Sheffield is offering a PhD project on the storage and release of legacy atmospheric pollutants from mountain glaciers

This project will quantify a potentially major unknown global reservoir of organic contaminants in temperate and cold-based glaciers and investigate the impacts of climate change on the quantity and quality of water supplies from glacier-fed catchments. 

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Call for articles: Remote Sensing special issue

For a Remote Sensing special issue on Mountain Remote Sensing, guest editors Dr. Marc Zebisch and Dr. Claudia Notarnicola invite you to submit articles on the following topics:

  • remotesensing logoRemote sensing of cryosphere and the water cycle in mountains
  • Remote sensing of natural hazards in mountains
  • Remote sensing of vegetation and land-cover dynamics in mountains.
  • Remote sensing methodologies for mountains

Submission deadline is April 30th 2018.

Find more information in the flyer attached.

Attached Files :
Special Issue Flyer-Mountain RS-1.pdf


Latest posts | MRI blogs

Check out the latest blog posts from members of our global mountain research community.

In this blog post, Dr Bob Nakileza, Senior Researcher at the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at Makerere University, explains how a multidisciplinary project in Uganda aims to improve the way in which the hazard and disaster challenges faced by mountain communities are addressed.

This blog post by Chimi Seldon of ICIMOD focuses on the work of Gunjan Silwal, a glaciologist working in the Himalayas. It describes the challenges of working in harsh conditions at high altitude, and highlights how ICIMOD are supporting young researchers like Silwal as they contribute to cryosphere research in the region.

Missed a post? You can catch up with all our previous blogs on our website.

Follow us

Don't forget to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest mountain news!
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LabEx ITEM Winter School | Call for papers | Innovation & Mountain Territories

4 - 7 April 2018, Monte Carasso, Switzerland

The 3rd LabEx ITEM International Winter School on Innovation and Mountain Territories seeks to promote young researchers working on mountain territories. It is aimed at doctoral students, post-doctoral and junior researchers, and also at researchers in integration, or MA students planning on doing a PhD.

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ForumAlpinum 2018

4 - 6 June 2018, Breitenwang, Austria. 

The ForumAlpinum 2018 will explore Alpine Waters - Sources of Conflicts. Topics to be addressed include:
  • Social issues regarding use, property, distribution, or regulation of water
  • Economic issues regarding water as a driving factor for alpine economies
  • Issues of specific user groups (energy, agriculture, tourism, nature)
  • All over consequences of water scarcity
  • Needed know-how and data for evidence-based water management
  • Dialogue practice – science – policy
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Cryosphere Remote Sensing Training Course 2018

11 - 16 June 2018, Longyearbyen, Svalbard.

As part of the Earth Observation (EO) Science for Society – Scientific Exploitation element of EOEP-5 program, the European Space Agency (ESA) is organizing an advanced training course on remote sensing of the Cryosphere, devoted to training the next generation of scientists and specialists to exploit EO data for science and applications.
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Upcoming Mountain Events

Have a look at the list of upcoming mountain-related events! List of events



MRD Vol 37, No 3 now online!

Mountain Research and Development, Vol 37, No 3: Mountain Forests and the SDGs

201710 MRD37 3
For this issue, guest editors G. Gratzer and W. Keeton invited researchers to reflect on the role of mountain forests in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Papers cover gender issues in Ethiopian agroforestry, the impact of migration on gender relations in forest user groups in Nepal, the profitability of small-scale mountain farm forestry in Austria, the impact of rubber on the rural economy in China, a throughfall-exclusion experiment in a forest area in Bhutan, and the resilience of mountain forests to disturbance scenarios in India.

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Africa - October 2017

AfroMont Mountain Research and News Digest, October 2017

201707 IntroAfroMont, a knowledge sharing platform, was initiated in 2007 by the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) to focus research attention on the diverse issues and challenges facing the mountainous regions of sub-Saharan Africa. AfroMont is an online media platform, now with ten years of activities, all with a focus on Africa mountain research and Sustainable Mountain Development (SMD) in African countries. We follow advances in African mountain research and issues including news and specialized opinion articles covering all aspects of global change in mountains.

Photo credit: Sue Taylor. Towards Lesotho and the Maloti Mountains, South Africa.



AfroMont now has a Facebook page, see

Editorial – Seeking photographs and information on large scale land acquisitions in African mountains

I have a PhD student, Mr Kablan Effossou, who is tackling the topic of African mountains: governance and large scale land acquisition as a new risk to mountain landscapes. This is largely a desktop investigative study with a review of existing mountain governance mechanisms globally and in Africa, and how these are holding up against land use change, particularly related to large scale land acquisitions (‘land grabbing’) in and around Africa’s mountains.

He needs to create a photo-record of this type of agricultural project in African mountains and their lowlands, particularly of the ecological and social damage they may cause. He is looking for good quality digital photographs (jpegs) of recent (after 2008) large scale agricultural projects in the Kenya, Tanzania and Cameroon and their mountains (and, if possible, other African mountains). It is very alarming that these types of agricultural projects are taking place in areas with well-identified vulnerable and charismatic species like chimpanzee (See the paper by JM Linder. African Primate Diversity Threatened by “New Wave” of Industrial Oil Palm Expansion. African Primates 8:25-38 (2013).

There is a wealth of material on the internet about this scourge. See developments in Mozambique

201710 aerialphoto landgrabbing
Aerial photo of the lands taken by Addax Bioenergy for its sugar cane plantation in Sierra Leone. (Photo: Le Temps),

If you have this type of digital photograph with dates, a description of the locality and some information about the agricultural project (e.g. the type of crop grown, the scale and how many hectares, has forest been removed, is the planting in a wetland, and any details about irrigation and use of agricultural chemicals) and other impacts (or even the benefit), we would appreciate receiving them, thank you. Email to both and


Read the full AfroMont News Digest here!

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Latin America - October 2017


1. Turismo Rural, Mujeres Campesinas Y Conservación Ambiental: Modelo Para El Análisis De Su Empoderamiento En Iberoamérica. Reyes-Aguilar, A.; Serrano-Barquín, R.; Pérez-Ramírez & C; Moreno-Barajas, R. Revista Brasileira de Gestão e Desenvolvimento Regional, v. 13, n. 3, p. 26-54, set-dez/2017, Taubaté, SP, Brasil - Link

2. Sobre los 25 Años de la Declaración de Río sobre el Medio ambiente y el Desarrollo. Fajardo-delCastillo, T.; Revista Catalana de Dret Ambiental, Vol. VIII Núm. 1 (2017) - Link

3. Estimación del cambio climático en la cuenca coata mediante el modelo GISS-E2-R y ver sus efectos sobre la alpaca en Puno, Cruz-Paredes,Y. ;Castro-Sarco,G. & Arivilca-Dominguez, G. Revista de Investigación Ciencia, Tecnología y Desarrollo Vol. 1, Núm. 1 (2017) - Link

4. Glacier inventory and recent glacier variations in the Andes of Chile, South America. Barcaza,G.; Nussbaumer, S.; Tpi, G.; Valdés, J.;Garcí,J.; Videla, Y. & Albornoz,A.; Arias, V. Annals of Glaciology (2017), Page 1 of 15 doi: 10.1017/aog.2017.28 - Link

5. Agricultura familiar y desarrollo alpaquero en el sur del Perú. Ho Chau, R. - Link

6. Ten years of monthly mass balance of Conejeras glacier, Colombia, and their evaluation using different interpolation methods. Mölg, N.; Ceballos,J.; Huggel, C.; Micheletti,N.; Rabatel, A. & Zemp, M. Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography (2017). - Link

7. Residual effect of BNI by Brachiaria humidicola pasture on nitrogen recovery and grain yield of subsequent maize. Karwat, H.; Moreta, D.; Arango, J.; N{uñez,J.; Rao,J.; Rincón,A.; Rasche, F.& Cadisch,C. - Link



Sincerely yours,

Carolina Adler 
The Mountain Research Initiative




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