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The journal Mountain Research and Development has issued a call for papers related to the role culture plays in our transition towards sustainable development in mountains for its three peer-reviewed sections: MountainDevelopment, MountainResearch, and MountainAgenda. Notices of intent should be submitted by 30 September.
In 1996, the World Commission on Culture and Development (WCCD) published a report on Our Creative Diversity. The WCCD wanted to emphasize the fundamental relevance of culture in sustainable development and to address questions such as: What are the cultural and socio-cultural factors that affect development? What is the cultural impact of social and economic development? How can valuable elements of a traditional culture be combined with modernization? What are the cultural dimensions of individual and collective well-being? Through this Focus Issue, Mountain Research and Development aims to highlight the importance of these questions for sustainable development in mountains.
Mountains worldwide are home to a rich cultural diversity, expressed in mountain populations’ identities, languages, arts, agricultural practices, socioeconomic arrangements, governance, and music. Most mountain landscapes are cultural, as they have been shaped over the centuries by mountain communities and reflect their world views and knowledge of natural resource management. Mountain areas often play an important spiritual and social role, having a special meaning in people’s identities, religions, and ritual practices, or being simply places for recreation and social gathering.
Mountain communities are undergoing profound and rapid processes of sociocultural change, caused by drivers such as outmigration, urbanization, and increasing insertion into the market economy. These changes are threatening the rich cultural heritage found in mountains. However, many mountain communities are responding and adapting to change in creative ways, drawing on this cultural heritage to develop their own development pathways. They may, however, also retreat (or be forced to retreat by development agencies) into culture as a cocoon that will supposedly preserve their identity and values. Moreover, a defensive attitude aiming to protect a cultural identity can lead to conflicts. Are we in a position to make sure that culture is a source of creativity and empowerment, that it constitutes the roots upon which global ethics can grow, and that it helps bridge the divides between the individual and the communitarian, as expressed in the WCCD’s 1996 report?
MRD is looking for contributions for its three peer-reviewed sections.
1. MountainDevelopment (Transformation Knowledge)
Papers should present systematically validated experiences and research insights into development solutions that consider mountain communities’ cultures and social practices.
Topics may include, for example: