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The Challenge of Applying Geographic Information Systems to Sustainable Mountain Development
Heinimann, Andreas
"In recent years, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have increasingly been used in a wide array of application contexts for development cooperation in lowlands and mountain areas. When used for planning, implementation, and monitoring, GIS is a versatile and highly efficient tool, particularly in mountain areas characterized by great spatial diversity and inaccessibility. However, the establishment and application of GIS in mountain regions generally presents considerable technical challenges. Moreover, it is necessary to address specific institutional and organizational issues regarding implementation." Mountain Research and Development, Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 312-319 Order via your university library from: BioOne
Knowledge for Sustainable Development in the Tajik Pamir Mountains
Breu, Thomas
The paper presents the results of a multi-year baseline study project in which 10 sectors ranging from agriculture to natural hazards were assessed by a transdisciplinary Swiss–Tajik research team. This knowledge base was enhanced in a development strategy workshop that brought together stakeholders from the local to the international levels. The methodology applied was found appropriate to initiate a broad reflection and negotiation process among various stakeholder groups, leading to a joint identification of possible measures to be taken. Knowledge—and its enhancement through the involvement of all stakeholder levels—appeared to be an effective carrier of innovation and changes of attitudes, thus containing the potential to effectively contribute to sustainable development in marginalized and resource-poor mountain areas. Mountain Research and Development 2005, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp. 139–146 Order via your university library from: BioOne
Protection: A Means for Sustainable Development?
Wallner, Astrid
The Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn World Heritage Site (WHS) comprises landscapes that are shaped by centuries of traditional agricultural use. Given the dramatic changes in the agricultural sector, the risk faced by cultural landscapes in the Region is possibly greater than that faced by the natural landscape inside the perimeter of the WHS. Maintaining the right balance between preservation of the WHS and promotion of sustainable regional development constitutes a key challenge for management of the WHS. This process made it possible to jointly define the present situation and thus create a basis for legitimising future action. From this participatory process, a link between the concepts of ‘protected area’ and sustainable development in the region emerged. Download
Welt der Alpen - Erbe der Welt
Wallner, Astrid
Bern, Haupt Verlag
Impacts of armed conflict on mountain biodiversity.
Upreti, Bishnu Raj
Nepal's armed conflict (1996-2006) has created enormous impact in biodiversity, the economy and society. This paper discusses only the impacts on biodiversity. The main negative impacts documented from the study were: A loss of unique habitats for wildlife within ecosystems once the vegetation for such specialised habitat were destroyed; loss of medicinal plant resources after the forests were used as battlefields; and severe disruption of conservation activities, leading to intensified unsustainable exploitation as law and order was broken down by the armed conflict. In: Mountain Forum Bulletin 9(2): 11-12. Download article from: Mountain Forum
Die Jungfrau – unermesslich schön?
Droz, Marcel
Master's Thesis, University of Salzburg, Austria Die touristisch enorm attraktive Hochgebirgslandschaft des Welterbe-Gebiets steht in direkter Wechselbeziehung mit der Umgebungslandschaft. Das sich daraus ergebende Spannungsverhältnis zwischen Schutz und Nutzung lässt die langfristige Sicherung der von der UNESCO ausgezeichneten Alleinstellungsmerkmale als grosse Herausforderung erscheinen. Erschwerend für das Gebietsmanagement kommt hinzu, dass die Natur- und Kulturlandschaft durch naturbedingte Veränderungsprozesse (Stichwort Klimawandel) sowie durch den (land-)wirtschaftlichen Strukturwandel fortwährend überprägt wird. Deshalb sind Monitoring- und Controllinginstrumente erforderlich, um Veränderungen zu erkennen und ihren Einfluss auf die Werte und Potenziale des Welterbes einschätzen zu können. Während Datengrundlagen aus bestehenden Monitoringsystemen in einzelnen Bereichen eine wertvolle Ausgangslage darstellen, fehlt bislang ein operationeller Ansatz zur Identifizierung und Überwachung der von der UNESCO dem Gebiet attestierten aussergewöhnlichen natürlichen Schönheit und ästhetischen Bedeutung. Die Operationalisierung von Landschaftsästhetik stellt damit das Kernstück dieser Arbeit dar. Download
Preventing and Resolving Water Use Conflicts in the Mount Kenya Highland–Lowland System through Water Users' Associations
Kiteme, Boniface
"In recent decades, the Mount Kenya highland–lowland system, which includes the Ewaso Ngiro North Basin, has experienced complex ecological and socioeconomic dynamics. These are reflected in changing land use systems and practices as well as in a rapidly growing human population, especially in the footzones and adjacent lowlands. These changes have exerted unremitting pressure on water resources, especially because the demand for water by different user groups has continued to grow, against the backdrop of expensive alternative sources (rainwater and groundwater harvesting) and increasingly dwindling river water resources. As each of the user groups moves to make substantial claims to available river water, competition for the resource becomes even sharper, thus setting the stage for conflicts related to scarcity that intensify during the dry season, at times resulting in fatal physical conflicts among different user groups in the basin, especially between upstream and downstream users. Different approaches have been used to address these scarcity-related conflicts. The present article discusses Water Users' Associations as one of the most effective initiatives launched to address the problem of water use conflicts in the basin in the recent past." Mountain Research and Development 2002, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp. 332-337 Available from: BioOne
Der Tadschikische Pamir. Entwicklungsprobleme und Perspektiven einer Hochgebirgsregion in Zentralasien
Hurni, Hans
The breakdown of the Soviet Union had significant effects for the people of the isolated Tajik Pamir Mountains. Since the independence of Tajikistan increasing poverty, dependence from foreign aid, and degradation of the ecosystem are obvious. At the same time the Pamir Mountains show high potentials regarding hydropower, the unique beauty of the landscape, and the high level of education. However, up to now these potentials have not been exploited. For the conservation of the Pamir Mountains as unique landscape and habitat and for a sustainable use of the available resources the Pamir Strategy Project has been implemented in 2001 and 2002. Knowledge about the status and the dynamics of this region has been gathered and made available in order to support the elaboration of a development strategy. Geographische Rundschau 2004(10):60-65.
Mythos, Lebensalltag und Wissenschaft im Berggebiet
Rist, Stephan
In: Jeanneret F, Wastl-Walter D, Wiesmann U, Schwyn M. editors. 2003. Welt der Alpen - Gebirge der Welt. Ressourcen, Akteure, Perspektiven. Bern: Haupt Verlag, pp 159-170. Order from: Haupt Verlag
Nachhaltige Entwicklung und Risikomanagement in Gebirgsräumen
Hurni, Hans
In: Jeanneret, F., Wastl-Walter, D., Wiesmann, U., Schwyn, M., (eds). 2003. Welt der Alpen - Gebirge der Welt. Ressourcen, Akteure, Perspektiven. Bern: Haupt. ISBN: 978-3-258-06624-0, pp. 95-102 Order from: Haupt Verlag
Research Partnerships for Mitigating Syndromes of Global Change in Mountain Regions
Hurni, Hans
Key problems in mountain areas and at highland-lowland interfaces are largely related to human impact in these fragile ecosystems and may be intensified by the indirect effects of human activities in surrounding lowland areas. The combined effects of various key problems in a mountain area can lead to a so-called ‘mountain syndrome’; most mountain systems show key symptoms of this syndrome or have the potential for their development. Mitigating the cumulative occurrence of clustered problems in mountain area will require the concerted action of multiple actors and all stakeholders concerned or affected. Research partnerships can furnish important contributions to knowledge generation and management by facilitating the development of measures for mitigation the mountain syndrome in many parts of the world, particularly in developing and transition countries. This paper reports on three major experiences with current research partnerships at the Centre for Development and Environment over the past 25 years. In: Bugmann H et al. Global Change and Mountain Regions. Springer, pp. 593-603.
Assessing and Managing Scarce Tropical Mountain Water Resources
Liniger, Hanspeter
The present article documents increasing water abstraction and the difficulties in establishing limits for low flows such as the Q80 value (flow available on 80% of the days per year). The article also presents the role of Water Users' Associations (WUAs) in mitigating water conflicts related to over-abstraction. Evaluation of the activities of 13 WUAs showed that they solved 45 of 52 conflicts. WUAs are also involved in activities such as environmental education, awareness creation, improved irrigation practices, afforestation, and regulating water. The recent restructuring of the government ministry resulted in a formalized role for WUAs. Long-term data on availability, abstraction, and use of water are needed to mitigate water conflicts within and between WUAs, negotiate water allocation, and establish allocation thresholds. Mountain Research and Development 2005, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp. 163–173 Order via your university library from: BioOne
Mountains: Special Places to be Protected?
Kollmair, Michael
Mountains are regularly a focus of international efforts to conserve the environment and promote sustainable development. The present article analyses the extent of protection in mountainous compared to non-mountainous areas, sheds light on the rationales behind the establishment of mountain protected areas, and proposes directions for future conservation endeavours with reference to mountain protected areas. The International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management 2005, Volume 1, Number 4, pp. 181-189(9) Available for purchase from: Ingentaconnect
Welt der Alpen - Gebirge der Welt
Wiesmann, Urs
Bern, Haupt Verlag
Energy for Gorno Badakhshan: Hydropower and the Cultivation of Firewood
Droux, Roman
Master's Thesis, University of Bern, Switzerland This study provides an integral analysis of the energy situation and its consequences for land and energy resource use in rural areas of the Tajik Pamirs. It focuses on three main topics: (1) Energy consumption patterns at household and village levels, (2) use of micro and mini hydropower stations and their potential to relieve pressure on local biomass fuels, and (3) land degradation related to unsustainable energy resource use. Download
Stakeholder Responses to Climate Change in the Swiss Alps
Hill, Margot
Master's Thesis, Imperial College London, UK The Alps will experience some of the most pronounced effects of climate change due to a combination of their latitudinal positioning, altitude and unique eco-systems, placing socioeconomic stresses on alpine communities, particularly those that rely on seasonal tourism. How stakeholders need to respond to climate change within the Alps has been well documented in the academic literature, with studies focussing on measures to minimise damage on winter ski tourism and from increased natural hazards. During the winter of 2006/2007 there was increasing academic and media attention on the ability of mountain areas to maintain successful winter tourism. Studies into tourism adaptation within the Swiss Alps have so far focussed on the adaptation options and needs of different stakeholders. These concepts of adaptation measures were tested on stakeholders from the private and public sector within two case study areas within the Swiss Alps, both part of the communes of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jungfrau Aletsch Bietschorn. The qualitative methodology aimed to better ascertain the barriers to adaptation that local communities faced. Download
The Tajik Pamirs
Breu, Thomas
Bern, Centre for Development and Environment
Mountain infrastructure: Access, communications, and energy
Kohler, Thomas
In: Price MF, Jansky L, Iatsenia AA, editors. 2004. Key issues for mountain areas. Tokyo, New York, Paris: United Nations University Press, pp. 38-62 Order from: United Nations University Press
Kleinbäuerliche Besiedlung und die Ausprägung von Haushaltsstrategien am Mount Kenya
Kohler, Thomas
"Kleinbäuerliche Besiedlung und die Ausprägung von Haushaltsstrategien am Mount Kenya" in: Jeanneret F, Wastl-Walter D, Wiesmann U, Schwyn M. editors. 2003. Welt der Alpen - Gebirge der Welt. Ressourcen, Akteure, Perspektiven. Bern: Haupt Verlag, pp. 185-196 Order from: Haupt Verlag
Tracing glacier wastage in the Northern Tien Shan (Kyrgyzstan / Central Asia) over the last 40 years
Niederer, Peter
The status and dynamics of glaciers are crucial for agriculture in semiarid parts of Central Asia, since river flow is characterized by major runoff in spring and summer, supplied by glacier- and snowmelt. Ideally, this coincides with the critical period of water demand for irrigation. The present study shows a clear trend in glacier retreat between 1963 and 2000 in the Sokoluk watershed. The overall area loss of 28% between 1963–2000, and a clear acceleration of wastage since the 1980s, correlate with the results of previous studies. In particular, glaciers smaller than 0.5 km2 have exhibited this phenomenon most starkly. While they registered a medium decrease of only 9.1% for 1963–1986, they lost 41.5% of their surface area between 1986 and 2000. Furthermore, an increase in the minimum glacier elevation of 78 m has been observed over the last three decades. This corresponds to about one-third of the entire retreat of the minimum glacier elevation in the Northern Tien Shan since the Little Ice Age maximum. Climatic Change 86(1-2):227–234. Download