Bolzano/Bozen, Italy – Researchers, practitioners, representatives of governmental structures, NGOs, UN agencies and the private sector institutions converged this week in the autonomous province of South Tyrol in the Alps of northern Italy for the Global Mountain Safeguard Research (GLOMOS) International Conference.
GLOMOS, a partnership between the United Nations University Institute for Human Security (UNH-EHS) and Eurac Research, aims to improve the living conditions of people in mountainous regions by increasing the resilience of mountain communities to climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss. Mountain regions cover a quarter of the planet’s land surface and are home to twelve percent of the world’s population. The wide range of ecosystem services that the mountains provide are vital to human well-being, serving as the world’s water tower for half of humanity’s freshwater.
During the conference, much of the discussion centered around the need for research on the modeling and simulation of mountainous socio-ecological systems, so that decision makers can access scenarios for landscape-level planning could both optimize interventions and help navigate tradeoffs. The participants worked to identify gaps and prioritize future work, so that the outcomes of the meeting can help orient future research agendas.
The UNCCD Lead Scientist Dr. Barron Joseph Orr, who participated in a high level panel at this GLOMOS event, presented the specific challenges land degradation poses to mountainous regions and explained how land degradation neutrality (LDN) could serve as a framework to help turn scientific knowledge into action.