The 2015 Belmont Forum call on Mountains as Sentinels of Change was aimed at fostering research on climate, environmental and related societal change in mountain regions by facilitating research with respect to drivers of change, ecosystems and biodiversity, water, hazards, vulnerability, risks, adaptation and resilience.  The awarded projects are coming close to their final stages.  

To ensure the health and wellness of the Belmont Forum supported participants in this Collaborative Research Action, the end-term valorization event has gone virtual.  E-mails are going out this week to project leads to explain the new process and solicit content that will be featured in a public synthesis document and other online formats.

There is a lot of enthusiasm for this shift as it will allow more of the project team to participate in this online discussion, including stakeholders, students, and postdocs that may not have otherwise been able to travel to an in-person event.  The online content encourages projects to communicate in creative new ways, using video, narratives, and interactive slides to share their learning and build a new audience for the outcomes.  The Belmont Forum Secretariat is supporting the Mountains Thematic Programme Office in the shift, sharing best practices from online learning and other virtual events taking place this year.

The Mountains as Sentinels of Change cohort includes 6 transnational, transdisciplinary projects working on 5 continents.  Their approaches weave together knowledge from natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, and stakeholders to support understanding of systemic change in montane regions while also informing resilient approaches to biodiversity, hydropower, watershed management and governance.  While the projects address specific needs of mountain communities in the Andes, Pamir, Kongur Shan, Pyrenees, Yunnan, Dhofar, Hinggan, Blue Nile Highlands, and Sierra Nevadas, their networks and results are global, providing keen insights on adaptive strategies for isolated and climate-sensitive systems.

The MRI community is encouraged to connect with these projects and share transdisciplinary research experiences.  Project videos will be available on the Belmont Forum YouTube channel, and details about the Mountains cohort can be found on the Belmont Forum website and in the mid-term valorization newsletter.

About the Belmont Forum

Established in 2009, the Belmont Forum is a partnership of funding organizations, international science councils, and regional consortia committed to the advancement of transdisciplinary science. Forum operations are guided by the Belmont Challenge, a vision document that encourages: International transdisciplinary research providing knowledge for understanding, mitigating and adapting to global environmental change.

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 Cover photo courtesy of Heiner Müller-Elsne

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