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The latest issue of the open access journal Mountain Research and Development is now available online – and contains two articles related to the MRI co-led GEO Global Network for Observations and Information in Mountain Environments (GEO-GNOME) initiative!
The latest issue of Mountain Research and Development (MRD) asks the question, 'what makes a mountain a mountain?' Answers to this question are complex, and have significant implications. As Roger Sayre and his co-authors – MRI Executive Director Carolina Adler among them – write in this issue of MRD, "knowing exactly where mountain ecosystems are distributed on the planet is a precursor to conserving them."
GEO-GNOME: Bridging Gaps in Mountain Data
In the article 'A New High-Resolution Map of World Mountains and an Online Tool for Visualizing and Comparing Characterizations of Global Mountain Distributions,' Sayre et al present a high-resolution map of the world's mountains. The authors also explain how and why this map differs from two well-known maps that have been used since 2000, which were produced to promote the cause of mountain environments and mountain people worldwide. This most recent attempt to extend our understanding of what constitutes a mountain in physical terms is accompanied by an intuitively simple open access tool, the Global Mountain Explorer, that allows the user to produce and compare maps of mountain areas at multiple resolutions worldwide. The work outlined in this paper specifically addresses Task 1.0 of the MRI co-led GEO-GNOME initiative work plan, which aims to bring together existing datasets focused on the delineation of mountain regions, and to enable comparisons across mountain regions of key biophysical phenomena and socioeconomic processes.
A subsequent article written by the MRI and our GEO-GNOME colleagues for the MountainPlatform section of MRD offers an update on GEO-GNOME following a workshop convened by the MRI in the summer of this year to revise the GEO-GNOME work plan. In the article, 'Monitoring Mountains in a Changing World: New Horizons for the Global Network for Observations and Information in Mountain Environments (GEO-GNOME),' we present the outcomes of this meeting and propose a roadmap for monitoring global change in mountains at various levels and in various contexts, with a view to responding to the integrated knowledge needs of policy, research, and management.
MRD: From Ethiopia to China
Other papers in this issue of MRD cover a broad range of topics: the foresight process (participative scenario building) as a means of more effective conservation in a national reserve in Peru, local perception of a dam construction project in the Darjeeling Himalayas, regeneration patterns of key tree species along an elevational gradient in the Garhwal Himalayas, water-holding characteristics of different forest litter layers in a karst region in China, the role of Acacia decurrens in forest cover and livelihoods in the highlands of Ethiopia, and immigration of refugees to mountain areas in the European Alps as a source of social innovation.
The full, open access issue of MRD is now available online: Mountain Research and Development Vol 38, No 3.