MRI News

The Andes of South America are one of the most biologically rich and diverse regions in the world. They are also undergoing significant change, not least in terms of land cover. In order to build a better picture of the extent and impact of this, new MRI-supported research published in the journal Global Change Biology evaluates the distribution of woody vegetation in the tropical Andes between 2001 and 2014.

“The tropical Andes are particularly important in terms of biodiversity and ecosystem services,” says study author and MRI SLC member Ricardo Grau, Director of the Institute of Regional Ecology at the National University of Tucumán, Argentina. “Yet, in part due to the difficulties caused by rough topography and high cloud cover, there were no comprehensive assessments of vegetation cover change – so we aimed to fill this research gap.”

As part of our mission to promote research on mountain regions across borders and disciplines through connection and collaboration, the Mountain Research Initiative issued a call for synthesis workshops in December last year. The purpose of this call was to provide funding for workshops that bring together global change researchers in order to address specific topics of interest to the mountain research community.

A total of 14 workshop proposals were submitted and eligible for review by our panel, which was comprised of MRI Principal Investigators, MRI Science Leadership Council members, and the MRI Executive Director. 

Recognizing the need to support and build capacities for regional and global assessment for science-policy processes, the Mountain Research Initiative, University of Zurich, Helvetas, and ICIMOD – in an initiative supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) – have teamed up to launch a call for applications for a mentoring and training program for early career mountain researchers who have an interest in participating in IPCC processes. Application deadline is 12 May 2019.

A Mountain Research Initiative survey is looking for insights into the major challenges for mountain governance, and what is being done to foster sustainability in the world’s mountains. The survey closes 15 April 2019.

The MRI invites the mountain research community to provide valuable insights into governance in mountain environments by participating in a short online survey. Through this survey, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of the major challenges for governance, and what is being done to foster sustainability in the world’s mountains. We are particularly interested in insights from in-depth case studies that have paid attention to governance as part of the data collection process.

Experts nominated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) met in Russia 4-8 March 2019 to further develop the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC). As a lead author of the High Mountains chapter, MRI Executive Director Carolina Adler was among their number.


The  (SROCC) is one of three special reports that the IPCC, the leading body for assessing the science related to climate change, will be releasing over the next year. The report will contain a careful assessment of how the ocean and cryosphere – the areas of the planet in which water is found in its solid state as ice or snow – will be affected by climate change. It will assess what these changes might mean for people around the world and how these changes may challenge a sustainable and equitable future.

Earlier this month, experts from IPCC Working Group II came together in Durban, South Africa to begin preparing their contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). Among them were representatives from the MRI and ICIMOD, selected to co-lead the Cross-Chapter Paper on Mountains.

From 20-25 January 2019, over 250 authors from the IPCC Working Group II – concerned with climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerabilities – met in Durban, South Africa for the First Lead Author Meeting of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). The authors were selected from more than 1000 nominations submitted by governments and IPCC Observer Organizations, with the selection aiming to balance expertise, gender, countries, and regions to ensure the inclusion of diverse views and scientific disciplines.

Following the announcement last year that Carolina Adler of the MRI and Philippus Wester of ICIMOD had been chosen to co-lead a Cross-Chapter Paper on Mountains as part of the Working Group II contribution to AR6, they too travelled to Durban to meet with their co-authors and begin the process of reviewing the existing scientific literature.

As part of its mission, the MRI provides funding contributions for synthesis workshops that bring together global change researchers to address specific topics of interest to the mountain research community. The deadline for proposals is 7 February 2019

Background

The Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) promotes and coordinates research on global change in mountain regions around the world. As part of that mission, MRI provides funding contributions for synthesis workshops that bring together global change researchers to address specific topics of interest to the mountain research community, with the objective of producing synthesis products such as articles for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals or compilation of relevant data into publishable databases.

Representatives from ICIMOD and the MRI have been selected to co-lead the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report’s Cross-Chapter Paper on Mountains.

What happens in mountains directly affects one fourth of the world’s population, and more than half of humanity relies on freshwater from mountains. However, decisions about mountain resources are often made outside of the mountains, and mountains have received limited attention in the global development agenda. But things are changing. The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will feature a Cross-Chapter Paper on Mountains.

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