29 research outputs found

    Nature and People in the Andes, East African Mountains, European Alps, and Hindu Kush Himalaya: Current Research and Future Directions

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    Mountains are facing growing environmental, social, and economic challenges. Accordingly, effective policies and management approaches are needed to safeguard their inhabitants, their ecosystems, their biodiversity, and the livelihoods they support. The formulation and implementation of such policies and approaches requires a thorough understanding of, and extensive knowledge about, the interactions between nature and people particular to mountain social–ecological systems. Here, we applied the conceptual framework of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services to assess and compare the contents of 631 abstracts on the interactions among biodiversity, ecosystem services, human wellbeing, and drivers of change, and formulate a set of research recommendations. Our comparative assessment of literature pertained to the Andes, the East African mountains, the European Alps, and the Hindu Kush Himalaya. It revealed interesting differences between mountain systems, in particular in the relative importance given in the literature to individual drivers of change and to the ecosystem services delivered along elevational gradients. Based on our analysis and with reference to alternative conceptual frameworks of mountain social–ecological systems, we propose future research directions and options. In particular, we recommend improving biodiversity information, generating spatially explicit knowledge on ecosystem services, integrating knowledge and action along elevational gradients, generating knowledge on interacting effects of global change drivers, delivering knowledge that is relevant for transformative action toward sustainable mountain development, and using comprehensive concepts and codesigned approaches to effectively address knowledge gaps

    A New High-Resolution Map of World Mountains and an Online Tool for Visualizing and Comparing

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    Answers to the seemingly straightforward questions “what is a mountain?” and “where are the mountains of the world?” are in fact quite complex, and there have been few attempts to map the mountains of the earth in a consistent and rigorous fashion. However, knowing exactly where mountain ecosystems are distributed on the planet is a precursor to conserving them, as called for in Sustainable Development Goals 6 and 15 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this article we first compare 3 characterizations of global mountain distributions, including a new, high-resolution (250 m) map of global mountains derived from terrain characteristics. We show how differences in conceptual definition, methodology, and spatial resolution of source data can result in differences in the extent and location of lands classed as mountains. For example, the new 250-m resource documents a larger global mountain extent than previous characterizations, although it excludes plateaus, hilly forelands, and other landforms that are often considered part of mountain areas. We then introduce the Global Mountain Explorer, a new web-based application specifically developed for exploration, visualization, and comparison of these maps. This new open-access tool is an intuitive and versatile resource suitable for a broad range of users and applications

    A global inventory of mountains for bio-geographical applications

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    Mountains are hotspots of biodiversity. Yet, evaluating their importance in global biodiversity inventories requires the adoption of a pertinent definition of mountains. Here, we first compare the well-established WCMC and GMBA definitions, which both use geographical information systems. We show that the WCMC approach arrives at twice the global mountain area and much higher human population numbers than the GMBA one, which is explained by the inclusion of (mostly) low latitude hill country below 600 m elevation. We then present an inventory of the world’s mountains based on the GMBA definition. In this inventory, each of the 1003 entries corresponds to a polygon drawn around a mountain or a mountain range and includes the name of the delineated object, the area of mountainous terrain it covers stratified into different bioclimatic belts (all at 2.5â€Č resolution), and demographic information. Taken together, the 1003 polygons cover 13.8 Mio km2 of mountain terrain, of which 3.3 Mio km2 are in the alpine and nival belts. This corresponds to 83.7% of the global mountain area sensu GMBA, and 94% of the alpine/nival area. The 386 Mio people inhabiting mountainous terrain within polygons represent 75% of the people globally inhabiting mountains sensu GMBA. This inventory offers a robust framework for the integration of mountain biota in regional and larger scale biodiversity assessments, for biogeography, bioclimatology, macroecology, and conservation research, and for the exploration of a multitude of socio-ecological and climate change-related research questions in mountain biota, including the potential pressure on alpine ecosystems

    Monitoring mountains in a changing world: new horizons for the Global Network for Observations and Information on Mountain Environments (GEO-GNOME)

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    Mountains are globally distributed environments that provide significant societal benefits, a function that is increasingly compromised by climatic change, environmental stress, political and socioeconomic transformations, and unsustainable use of natural resources. Gaps in our understanding of these processes and their interactions limit our capacity to inform decisions, where both generalities of mountain regions (eg climate processes) and specificities (eg context-specific manifestations of climate risks) matter. The Global Network for Observations and Information on Mountain Environments (GEO-GNOME), a Group on Earth Observations initiative, aims to fill these gaps through accessible Earth Observation (EO) as well as in-situ data and information on global change drivers, conditions, and trends. A workshop convened by the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) revised GEO-GNOME's work plan, galvanizing a network that promotes relevant monitoring of global change in mountains and is responsive to the integrated knowledge needs of policy, research, and management

    Atteindre les ODD avec la biodiversité

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    L’Agenda 2030 pour le dĂ©veloppement durable, assorti de ses 17 objectifs de dĂ©veloppement durable (ODD), trace une nouvelle voie d’équilibre pour la planĂšte et l’humanitĂ©. Les ODD, Ă©troitement interconnectĂ©s, ne pourront se rĂ©aliser que moyennant de profonds changements dans nos sociĂ©tĂ©s. Des Ă©tudes rĂ©centes concernant les interactions entre les ODD identifient la sauvegarde de la biodiversitĂ© comme Ă©tant l’un des leviers les plus efficaces pour rĂ©aliser la durabilitĂ©. Les ODD 14 (vie aquatique) et 15 (vie terrestre) axĂ©s sur la biodiversitĂ© apparaissent comme des multiplicateurs de co-bĂ©nĂ©fices. La prĂ©sente fiche d’information a pour but d’expliquer l’importance de la biodiversitĂ© dans la mise en Ɠuvre de tous les ODD et de fournir aux dĂ©cideurs des options et des points d’accĂšs Ă  un changement en profondeur.Obrecht A, Pham-Truffert M, Spehn E et al (2021) Atteindre les ODD avec la biodiversitĂ©. Swiss Academies Factsheet 16 (1

    Mit BiodiversiÀt die SDGs erreichen

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    Die Agenda 2030 fĂŒr nachhaltige Entwicklung mit den darin enthaltenen 17 globalen Zielen fĂŒr nachhaltige Entwicklung (Sustainable Development Goals SDGs) zeigt einen neuen Weg des Gleichgewichts fĂŒr die Menschheit und den Planeten auf. Die SDGs sind stark miteinander verknĂŒpft. Deshalb werden sie in ihrer Gesamtheit nur durch transformativen Wandel unserer Gesellschaften erreicht werden können. Neuere Studien zu den Wechselwirkungen zwischen den SDGs haben den Erhalt der BiodiversitĂ€t als einen der stĂ€rksten Hebel zur Erreichung von Nachhaltigkeit identifiziert. Die auf BiodiversitĂ€t fokussierten SDGs 14 (Leben unter Wasser) und 15 (Leben an Land) zeigen eine ausgesprochen positive Wirkung, einen Zusatznutzen, auf die Erreichung anderer Ziele. Dieses Faktenblatt erlĂ€utert die Bedeutung der BiodiversitĂ€t und zeigt Optionen fĂŒr EntscheidungstrĂ€ger auf, welche Ansatzpunkte fĂŒr transformativen Wandel genutzt werden können

    From zero to infinity: Minimum to maximum diversity of the planet by spatio-parametric Rao's quadratic entropy

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    Aim: The majority of work done to gather information on the Earth's biodiversity has been carried out using in-situ data, with known issues related to epistemology (e.g., species determination and taxonomy), spatial uncertainty, logistics (time and costs), among others. An alternative way to gather information about spatial ecosystem variability is the use of satellite remote sensing. It works as a powerful tool for attaining rapid and standardized information. Several metrics used to calculate remotely sensed diversity of ecosystems are based on Shannon’s information theory, namely on the differences in relative abundance of pixel reflectances in a certain area. Additional metrics like the Rao’s quadratic entropy allow the use of spectral distance beside abundance, but they are point descriptors of diversity, that is they can account only for a part of the whole diversity continuum. The aim of this paper is thus to generalize the Rao’s quadratic entropy by proposing its parameterization for the first time.
 Innovation: The parametric Rao’s quadratic entropy, coded in R, (a) allows the representation of the whole continuum of potential diversity indices in one formula, and (b) starting from the Rao’s quadratic entropy, allows the explicit use of distances among pixel reflectance values, together with relative abundances.
 Main conclusions: The proposed unifying measure is an integration between abundance- and distance-based algorithms to map the continuum of diversity given a satellite image at any spatial scale. Being part of the rasterdiv R package, the proposed method is expected to ensure high robustness and reproducibility

    Geosciences Roadmap for Research Infrastructures 2025 - 2028 by the Swiss Geosciences Community

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    This roadmap is the product of a grassroots effort by the Swiss Geosciences community. It is the first of its kind, outlining an integrated approach to research facilities for the Swiss Geosciences. It spans the planning period 2025-2028. Swiss Geoscience is by its nature leading or highly in-volved in research on many of the major national and global challenges facing society such as climate change and meteorological extreme events, environmental pol-lution, mass movements (land- and rock-slides), earth-quakes and seismic hazards, global volcanic hazards, and energy and other natural resources. It is essential to under- stand the fundamentals of the whole Earth system to pro-vide scientific guidelines to politicians, stakeholders and society for these pressing issues. Here, we strive to gain efficiency and synergies through an integrative approach to the Earth sciences. The research activities of indivi- dual branches in geosciences were merged under the roof of the 'Integrated Swiss Geosciences'. The goal is to facilitate multidisciplinary synergies and to bundle efforts for large research infrastructural (RI) requirements, which will re-sult in better use of resources by merging sectorial acti- vities under four pillars. These pillars represent the four key RIs to be developed in a synergistic way to improve our understanding of whole-system processes and me- chanisms governing the geospheres and the interactions among their components. At the same time, the roadmap provides for the required transition to an infrastructure adhering to FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) data principles by 2028.The geosciences as a whole do not primarily profit from a single large-scale research infrastructure investment, but they see their highest scientific potential for ground-break-ing new findings in joining forces in establishing state-of-the-art RI by bringing together diverse expertise for the benefit of the entire geosciences community. Hence, the recommendation of the geoscientific community to policy makers is to establish an integrative RI to support the ne- cessary breadth of geosciences in their endeavor to ad-dress the Earth system across the breadth of both temporal and spatial scales. It is also imperative to include suffi-cient and adequately qualified personnel in all large RIs. This is best achieved by fostering centers of excellence in atmospheric, environmental, surface processes, and deep Earth projects, under the roof of the 'Integrated Swiss Geosciences'. This will provide support to Swiss geo-sciences to maintain their long standing and internatio- nally well-recognized tradition of observation, monitor-ing, modelling and understanding of geosciences process-es in mountainous environments such as the Alps and beyond

    GMBA mountain inventory_V1.2

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    The GMBA mountain inventory is an inventory of the world’s mountains based on the GMBA mountain definition. Each of the 1048 entries corresponds to a polygon drawn around a mountain or a mountain range and includes the name of the delineated object