Registration to participate in the external review of the second order draft of the IPBES Values Assessment and the first order draft of the Summary for Policymakers is now open. The review period runs from 20 January to 19 March 2021.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has issued a call for expert reviewers for the IPBES Values Assessment, a methodological assessment regarding the diverse conceptualization of multiple values of nature and its benefits, including biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services.

The Postdoc Academy for Transformational Leadership is designed to develop the next generation of leaders in sustainability and transformation research. Applications are now open, and the deadline is 15 February 2021.

The Postdoc Academy for Transformational Leadership provides an intensive high-end training course with four seminars in two years that broaden the research competencies of postdocs and promote their qualifications towards transdisciplinary leadership. The program also offers seed funding (e.g., for stakeholder meetings or proposal writing activities) to small groups of participants, who plan to initiate research collaborations. Through the programme, an active network of current and former participants will also be established.

A capacity-building project coordinated by the University of Bayreuth is working to develop scientifically-based further education programs in Tanzania in order to develop the next generation of experts needed to ensure the long-term preservation of the country's biodiversity.

Biodiversity is a central ecological and economic resource for Tanzania, thanks to its extensive nature reserves. For its long-term preservation, the East African country needs experts who can develop and implement effective strategies and measures. As part of a new project funded by the EU to the tune of up to € 790,000, the University of Bayreuth is working towards establishing commensurate courses of study at universities in Tanzania. In doing so, it will work closely with European and Tanzanian partners in research and on the ground.

Inspiring Girls Expeditions empower young women to lead and succeed through science, art, and wilderness exploration. 16- and 17-year-old girls* are now invited to apply to participate in free wilderness science expeditions in Alaska, Washington, Colorado, Canada, Switzerland, and Austria. 

These expeditions offer participants a chance to spend 12 days walking on glaciers, sea kayaking in icy fjords, scrambling on rocks, or paddling down a boreal forest river with like-minded teens and instructors. Applicants do not need any prior outdoor experience for these expeditions, which interweave science, art, and outdoor exploration. Learn more about eligibility requirements on the Inspiring Girls website

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Global Network for Information and Observations in Mountain Environments has had a busy last few months.

Firstly, we completed our rebranding exercise, the outcomes of which are a change in our “short name” from GEO-GNOME to GEO Mountains, as well as a new logo (see below!). We sincerely hope that you – the mountain community – appreciate these changes and feel motivated to further mobilise yourselves around our Initiative in 2021!

Early in 2020, a call for proposals as part of the MRI Synthesis Workshops seed funding programme was issued. A total of 13 proposals fulfilled the requirements for further consideration. Of these, two proposals were selected. The first addresses renewable energy transitions in the Hindu Kush Himalaya, Andes, and European Alps. The second focuses on climate change adaptation in Africa.

As part of our commitment to support our research community to advance key research questions relevant for knowledge on social-ecological systems in mountains, the MRI continues to make small grants available for MRI Synthesis Workshops. Together with MRI Working Groups, these workshops are part of current MRI Community-Led Activities, which are those activities led primarily by researchers and supported by the MRI Coordination Office through seed funding, and administrative and communications assistance.

The Adrien Guébhard-Séverine prize is awarded for an outstanding PhD thesis in the field of hydrogeology or geothermal energy. 

The Adrien Guébhard-Séverine prize is awarded annually or every two years by the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland to a student who has completed a PhD thesis in the field of hydrogeology or geothermal energy. The prize honours the memory of Dr. Adrien Guébhard-Séverine (1849-1924), a native of Neuchâtel and an associate professor of physics at the Faculty of Medicine of Paris, France, as well as a geologist and prehistorian.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group (WG) II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) is now entering its next phase; between 4 December 2020 and 29 January 2021, governments and expert reviewers are invited to provide comments on the Second Order Draft. Earlier this month, in collaboration with the IPCC WGII Technical Support Unit (TSU), the MRI held two virtual webinars to offer information about the AR6 and the expert review, with a view to encouraging experts and early career researchers to take part in this important step in the report’s development.

In addition to key sectoral and regional chapters, the IPCC WGII contribution to AR6 also features a dedicated Cross-Chapter Paper on Mountains, to which many from the MRI community are contributing as coordinating lead authors, lead authors, review editors, contributing authors – and you, as expert reviewers. The expert review is an essential stage in the preparation of IPCC reports. It ensures that the reports cover the most up-to-date scientific, technical, and socio-economic findings, and are representative of a broad range of independent expertise from developed and developing countries. But what exactly does the expert review role and process involve, and how can you participate?

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