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The Second Caucasus Mountain Forum brought together around 200 scientists, governmental experts, and practitioners to explore opportunities and challenges, and contribute towards the improved coordination of sustainable development in the Caucasus region.

Building on the First Caucasus Mountain Forum (CMF), which took place in 2016, the Second CMF 2019 was held in Ankara, Turkey, from 30 October to 1 November. The event brought together participants from the six countries of the Caucasus Ecoregion, as well as representatives from Austria, Estonia, Italy, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine. It was hosted by the Department of Geography at Ankara University, and co-chaired by MRI Chair Jörg Balsiger and Mehmet Somuncu, Director of the Centre for Environmental Studies and Head of the Department of Geography at Ankara University. MRI SLC member Andreas Muhar was also in attendance, presenting during the thematic session on 'Education for Sustainable Development.'

This workshop aimed to deliver a synthesis of how mountain long-term social-ecological research (LTSER) programmes support global policy agendas and UN conventions, and how to strengthen their contribution. It was an activity of the Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment Working Group on Long-term Social-ecological Research in Mountains, and funded by the MRI as part of the Call for Synthesis Workshops 2019.

In October, 22 experts from 12 different countries came together in the botanical garden of Champex-Lac in Switzerland to discuss the contribution of long-term social ecological research (LTSER) in mountains to global agendas and conventions. The objective of the workshop was to deliver a synthesis of how mountain LTSER currently support global policy agendas and UN conventions, and how their contribution could be improved and strengthened in the future.

A High Mountain Summit has issued a Call for Action in the face of rapid melting of the Earth’s frozen peaks and the consequences for food, water, and human security, as well as for ecosystems, the environment, and economies.

The three-day summit, convened by the World Meteorological Organization and a wide range of partners, identified priority actions to support more sustainable development, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation both in high-mountain areas and downstream.

The Mountain Research Initiative is deeply saddened by the death of Esther Mwangi, Principal Scientist with Forests and Governance at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and a highly valued and active member of the MRI Science Leadership Council.

Esther Mwangi was a researcher, environmentalist, and public policy expert whose work explored gender and land-rights inequalities in relation to natural resources.

Taking place in Vienna, Austria 3–8 May 2020, the EGU 2020 General Assembly will bring together geoscientists from all over the world to explore all disciplines of the Earth, planetary, and space sciences. This year, there are a number of exciting, mountain-related sessions – including three convened by representatives of the MRI.

The EGU aims to provide a forum where scientists, especially early-career scientists (ECS), can present their work and discuss their ideas with experts in all fields of geoscience. Abstract submissions are now invited for all sessions, including those being convened by representatives from the MRI. 

Deadline for abstract submissions is 15 January 2020

This MRI-funded synthesis workshop took place in the context of the International Mountain Conference (IMC) 2019 – held in September in Innsbruck, Austria – and aimed to deepen discussions initiated during an Open Think Tank earlier that week at the same location on the development of the first Mountain Resilience Report.

Bringing together leading scholars from academia and practice, this post-IMC synthesis workshop took place on 13 September 2019 and laid the foundations for the design and development of a resilience report for mountain regions. The specific resilience angle of this workshop was on understanding and incubating innovative capacities to create and implement effective, real-world solutions and build regenerative mountain systems.

Between 1-3 September 2019, 14 researchers representing eight countries – Spain, France, Switzerland, UK, Sweden, Norway, Peru, Australia – came together in Sopuerta, Spain. Their purpose? To synthesize the knowledge resulting from existing transformation initiatives and Nature Based Solutions (NBS) that are emerging in response to global change in mountains.

The workshop, which was funded by the MRI as part of its 2019 Call for Synthesis Workshops, had several aims: Firstly, to develop a framework to assess the process and outcomes of transformative change in mountains; secondly, to test the framework through a series of case studies in which participants have broad working experience; and thirdly, to create a research plan, as well as an outline for a publication, and to allocate tasks to move towards the aims of TRANSMOUNT in the coming months.

In early September, over 500 mountain researchers came together at the heart of the Tyrolean Alps in Innsbruck, Austria in order to engage in in-depth, cross-disciplinary discussions at the International Mountain Conference (IMC) 2019. Their aim? To further develop global understanding of mountain systems, their responses, and resiliencies. 

A member of the IMC 2019 scientific steering committee, the Mountain Research Initiative was well-represented throughout the conference by the MRI Coordination Office, its Principal Investigators, and members of the Science Leadership Council (SLC).

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