Mountain regions are crucial to sustainable development worldwide. They are home to over 900 million people and supply humans and nature with vital resources both locally and in nearby lowlands. About half of Earth’s fresh water comes from mountains. Mountains also serve as a unique reservoir of biological diversity and cultural values.
Today, the sustainable livelihood base in many of these regions is threatened by direct and indirect human impacts. Local, national, and international policymakers should address these challenges in earnest, striving to develop specific solutions for mountain regions. Science also has a key role to play in this effort, as mountain-specific knowledge is often only available in fragmented form.
Since its inception, CDE has conducted research for sustainable development in mountain regions, including in the Swiss Alps, the Mount Kenya region, the Andes, the Himalayas, and – for many years – in the Caucasus. Its focus is on the following research topics:
Besides its research activities, CDE is strongly engaged in networks in and around mountain areas, for example the Forum Landscape, Alps, Parks (FoLAP) of the Swiss Academy of Sciences.
Both, the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) and the editorial team of the scientific journal Mountain Research and Development (MRD) are based at CDE.
The UNESCO Chair on Natural and Cultural Heritage for Sustainable Mountain Development is held jointly by CDE and CETRAD, its partner in Kenya.
Mountain Research and Development (MRD)
Vibrant Mountain Communities: Regional Development in Mountains
Migration and Sustainable Mountain Development
Shaping the water–energy–food nexus for resilient mountain livelihoods
Leaving no one in mountains behind
Challenges and opportunities in assessing sustainable mountain development
Serie on developments in the Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage region
Institute of Geography, University of Bern
International Mountain Society
Mountain Research Initiative
UNESCO Chair “Sustainable Management of Conservation Areas”, FH Kärtnen
World Nature Forum Jungfrau Aletsch, Switzerland
Local energy transition experiments for a low-carbon society
Sustainability research and monitoring of the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site
Traditionelle Bewässerung in Europa als Kulturerbe
UNESCO Chair on natural and cultural heritage for sustainable mountain development
Feminization, agricultural transition, and rural employment – FATE
First 100% energy self-sustaining protected area in Chile (REPIC)
Knowledge for sustainable development in mountains
Links between biodiversity and coffee farmer practices in Bolivia
Promoting innovations in mountain areas – PRIMA
Protected areas in the Slovakian Carpathians
Social Innovation in marginalized rural areas of Europe – SIMRA
Sustainable quality of life in parks of national importance