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Challenges for Mountain Regions

The publication uses selected regions to highlight the future challenges of mountain areas.
Image caption:
The publication uses selected regions to highlight the future challenges of mountain areas. © Institute for Mountain Research: Man and Environment
Year of publication2010
Author(s)Axel Borsdorf
Co-authorsG. Grabherr, K. Heinrich, B.Scott & J. Stötter
Publisher(s)IGF Gebirgsforschung: Mensch und Umwelt - Mountain Research: Man and Environment
Austrian Academy of Sciences
Place of publicationInnsbruck
Price€ 49.00
Mountains make up around a third of the surface area of the world’s mainland and islands. While they are home to one tenth of the world’s population, they provide resources to more than a third of all humans. Mountain areas are hotspots of biodiversity as well as offering recreation, or even recuperation after an illness, for many people. There is cause for concern as global change in the form of climate change and as globalization threatens mountain areas more intensely than lowlands. Global warming in the mountains occurs up to three times faster than elsewhere and has highly diverse effects. Globalization is hitting ill prepared traditional areas that are hard pressed to hold their own against global competition. Mountain ranges often run across national boundaries and possess conflict potential. At international level and with diminishing resources, these conflicts can arise around minerals and water. At national level, the inaccessibility of some mountain areas makes them a potential shelter for terrorists.
For these reasons, mountain research is now becoming all the more important. The aim must be to maintain the functions of mountains and to introduce sustainable development processes. The UN has recognized this by passing the resolution “Sustainable Mountain Development”. It adds to the mountain chapter of the Agenda 21 and to the declaration of an International Year of the Mountains in 2002 and 2010. This volume shows that Austrian mountain research is taking up the challenge of global change for mountain regions. The authors are, or have
been, members of the Institute of Mountain Research: Man and Environment at the Austrian Academy of Sciences or are working closely with the institute. Readers who love the mountains will find here a new, more problem-oriented, view of these fascinating landscapes.