The world’s mountains are vital regions for all of humanity, providing a wide range of goods and services to their inhabitants, to those living nearby or downstream, and to the hundreds of millions who visit them or for whom they have spiritual significance. How to preserve fragile mountain ecosystems that provide critical goods and services while improving the lives of those who live in the mountains? This and other key issues of sustainable mountain development are examined in a series of papers prepared by globally-recognised experts.
While mountain areas have long been on the periphery of national and global policy debates, their importance is underlined by the fact that they cover 24% of the Earth’s land surface and 26% of the global population lives on them or very close by. They are sources of water, food, timber, minerals and other natural resources; they provide many opportunities for recreation and tourism; and they are centres of biological and cultural diversity and religious significance. At the same time, mountain people and mountain environments are particularly threatened by global environmental change and global economic and political forces. Unfortunately, a disproportionate number of conflicts occur in mountain regions, and their inhabitants include many of the poorest and most vulnerable in the world.
This book explores many of these issues, with particular emphases on appropriate institutions and policies for sustainable mountain development. It is thus a key reference for scholars, policymakers and others interested in the future of the world’s mountain areas.
Martin F. Price is the Director of the Centre for Mountain Studies, Perth College, UHI Millennium Institute, UK and Chair of IUCN’s Mountain Initiative Taskforce.
Libor Jansky is a Professor of Land Management and Conservation conferred by Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry, Brno, Czech Republic, and a Senior Academic Programme Officer in the Environment and Sustainable Development Programme at the United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan.
Andrei A. Iatsenia is a Project Director of the Water Initiative, the World Economic Forum, Geneva.