MRI News

The International Mountain Conference 2022 will take place 11-15 September in Innsbruck, Austria. Join representatives of the MRI for a number of exciting Focus Sessions!

The International Mountain Conference 2022 (IMC2022) aims to build upon the previous mountain conferences and continue this scientific conference series exclusively targeted towards mountain research. Hosted in the Alps, IMC2022 is a key opportunity for experts from different disciplines to discuss mountain-related issues in a cross-disciplinary setting. The key goals of the conference are to synthesize and enhance our understanding of mountain systems, in particular their response and resilience to global change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has opened registration for the Government and Expert Review of its Sixth Assessment Synthesis Report. Members of the MRI community are encouraged to share their expertise. Registration closes 13 March 2022.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is currently in its sixth assessment cycle, which aims to provide policymakers with scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, and potential adaptation and mitigation strategies.

The UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme has relaunched the World Network of Mountain Biosphere Reserves to create research opportunities and support knowledge exchange on environmental and social issues. The Mountain Research Initiative is proud to be supporting this important network. 

The recently elected technical secretariats of the World Network of Mountain Biosphere Reserves, jointly coordinated by the Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (China) and the Biosphere Reserve of the Valles de Omaña y Luna, held its first meeting to prepare the action plan for the upcoming years.

The International Association of Cryospheric Sciences has announced the establishment of a new Joint Body on the Status of Mountain Snow Cover in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization and the Mountain Research Initiative.

Climate change is impacting the amount and distribution of mountain snow cover over space and time. Knowledge of these changes is of great importance for research and practice, not least given the important role that snow plays for mountain ecosystems, natural hazards, and tourism, as well as providing a source of water for ecosystems and humans. Despite the high relevance of snow in mountain regions, an inventory for mountain snow cover and the underlying processes comparable on a global scale are still lacking. Even regional inventories are strongly limited to a few well-monitored mountain ranges, such as in the U.S. Rockies and the European Alps.

The Mountain Research Initiative is delighted to welcome two new members to our Science Leadership Council, who will provide advice and impetus for our scientific activities. We also extend our sincere thanks to those SLC members who ended their terms in 2021.

The Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) Science Leadership Council (SLC) provides the MRI with direction, priorities, objectives, and advice on scientific or technical requirements for our activities, ensuring oversight for the MRI as a project. MRI SLC members are observers of the strategic environment, are key contributors to research on mountain regions, and – through their own activities – carry forward the MRI's scientific agenda.

Early in 2021, a call for proposals as part of the MRI Synthesis Workshops seed funding programme was issued. A total of eight proposals fulfilled the requirements for further consideration. Of these, two proposals were selected for funding. The first addresses mapping vegetation using high-resolution remote sensing. The second focuses on building a regional network to study carbon dynamics in peatlands along the Andes.

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 Interdisciplinary Centre for Mountain Research (CIRM) of the University of Lausanne, with the Labex ITTEM, hosted a hybrid workshop on 21-22 October 2021 in Sion, Switzerland, which aimed at offering a space for joint reflection and sharing of experiences on how diverse entities foster scientific research in the mountains. Representatives from the MRI were among those present.

A total of 32 individual researchers attended the workshop at the CIRM premises in Bramois, Sion, with an additional 13 researchers joining proceedings via video conference. The attendees represent some twenty institutions from Alpine countries and international networks. The objectives of this workshop were to (1) share inter- and transdisciplinary research experiences (both successes and obstacles and challenges), (2) discuss the role of this research on transformations towards sustainability, and (3) discuss and explore a possible common future between the different institutions.

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) General Assembly 2021 took place December 13-17. MRI Executive Director Carolina Adler, SLC members Bryan Mark and Shawn Marshall, and Scientific Project Officer Gabrielle Vance convened the session 'Global Environmental Change in Mountain Social-Ecological Systems.'

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