Guidelines for the Integrated Management of Mountain Ecosystems

Boyadgiev, T., Behar, A., Pitt, D.C., Apostolov, S., Turmanidze, T., & Valev, V. (1992). Guidelines for the Integrated Management of Mountain Ecosystems. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-92-069

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The United Nations Conference of Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro (1992), the Earth Summit, appropriately recognized the mountains as one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet. Recent research has shown that this threat may increase significantly in the future as a result of the greenhouse effect. At Rio the nations of the world agreed to a mountain agenda for the 21st century. But although the principles are clear enough there are very few practical guides on how actually to implement Agenda 21 especially at the grass roots. This small publication is a first attempt to spell out the first steps in doing something about the crisis in the mountains.

What follows is derived from a joint project in the 1980s involving UNEP, the USSR State Committee for Environmental Protection, Centre for International Projects, the Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, Academy of Agriculture, the Poushkarov Institute of Soil Science and Agroecology, and the Georgian Agricultural Academy of Sciences. The objectives of the project were to create an international network of experts, both distinguished scientists and representatives of the leading international organizations who would direct field experiments and consider alternative methods for the complex integrated management of mountain ecosystems. The experimental plots were in the Caucasus, the Rhodopes, and Balkan mountains, including a range of mountain situations -- mediterranean, subtropical, high mountains, etc. To these sites were brought students mainly from developing countries, to learn at first hand the practical details of environmental protection in the mountains. From these courses guidelines were produced which form the basis for this publication. There were many other by-products of great use -- films, advisory missions to the Himalayas and Africa, classifications of soils and productivity, technical reports on a range of topics including landslides, mechanization, and agroecology. The project was evaluated as a success story and most appreciated by the students who greatly enjoyed the summer journeys into the idyllic Georgian and Bulgarian mountains. Whatever happens to the project in these more wintry times, the networks forged in those remote valleys will endure. Indeed the project brought together from such regions as the Andes experts and students who never met at home but who now cooperate actively.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Forestry (FOR)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:01
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:14

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