October 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.
The UIAA's renewed strategic and operational focus on sustainability raised many questions on the 'state-of-knowledge' and assessment of global change in the mountain environment, and how this in turn affects (and is affected by) human activity such as tourism and recreation activities on glaciers and mountain destinations around the world. Significant potential was identified for the role of science and scientific research - whether it be basic, applied, or transdisciplinary - to make an important contribution to knowledge on transformations to sustainability, addressing pressing problems such as changed mountain conditions as a result of climate change and other global change phenomena and pressures such as waste generation, mobility, settlement structures, and governance as a result of tourism, recreation, and other economic activities. Such exchange of ideas, insights, pleas for greater scientific support, and involvement with civil society NGOs such as the UIAA on a global scale warrants closer consideration and integration into the MRI’s planned activities in future. Other significant events this month included GEO WEEK 2017, held in Washington DC, during which the initial outputs of the MRI-led Global Network for Observation and Information in Mountain Environments (GEO-GNOME) were unveiled - see related story in this newsletter issue.
In Bern, meanwhile, the MRI staff have been working on first steps to design new structures, procedures, and plans for a future MRI. These developments were primarily in terms of communication and outreach to both the scientific community and the general public – in Switzerland and globally. We hope to unveil much of this exciting work, as well as associated strategic and operational plans, at the upcoming MRI meeting with our Scientific Leadership Council and MRI Principle Investigators in Rome, Italy, in the lead up to the Mountain Partnership's High Level Mountains Conference. Watch this space in 2018!
ON THE MRI'S AGENDA IN 2017