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Sustainable land use in Mountain Regions under global change synthesis across scales and disciplines

  • Mountain regions provide essential ecosystem goods and services (EGS) for both mountain dwellers and people living outside these areas. Global change endangers the capacity of mountain ecosystems to provide key services. The Mountland project focused on three case study regions in the Swiss Alps and aimed to propose land-use practices and alternative policy solutions to ensure the provision of key EGS under climate and land-use changes. We summarized and synthesized the results of the project and provide insights into the ecological, socioeconomic, and political processes relevant for analyzing global change impacts on a European mountain region. In Mountland, an integrative approach was applied, combining methods from economics and the political and natural sciences to analyze ecosystem functioning from a holistic human-environment system perspective. In general, surveys, experiments, and model results revealed that climate and socioeconomic changes are likely to increase the vulnerability of the EGS analyzed. We regard the followingMountain regions provide essential ecosystem goods and services (EGS) for both mountain dwellers and people living outside these areas. Global change endangers the capacity of mountain ecosystems to provide key services. The Mountland project focused on three case study regions in the Swiss Alps and aimed to propose land-use practices and alternative policy solutions to ensure the provision of key EGS under climate and land-use changes. We summarized and synthesized the results of the project and provide insights into the ecological, socioeconomic, and political processes relevant for analyzing global change impacts on a European mountain region. In Mountland, an integrative approach was applied, combining methods from economics and the political and natural sciences to analyze ecosystem functioning from a holistic human-environment system perspective. In general, surveys, experiments, and model results revealed that climate and socioeconomic changes are likely to increase the vulnerability of the EGS analyzed. We regard the following key characteristics of coupled human-environment systems as central to our case study areas in mountain regions: thresholds, heterogeneity, trade-offs, and feedback. Our results suggest that the institutional framework should be strengthened in a way that better addresses these characteristics, allowing for (1) more integrative approaches, (2) a more network-oriented management and steering of political processes that integrate local stakeholders, and (3) enhanced capacity building to decrease the identified vulnerability as central elements in the policy process. Further, to maintain and support the future provision of EGS in mountain regions, policy making should also focus on project-oriented, cross-sectoral policies and spatial planning as a coordination instrument for land use in general.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Robert Huber, Andreas Rigling, Peter Bebi, Fridolin Simon Brand, Simon Briner, Alexandre Buttler, Che Elkin, Francois Gillet, Adrienne Gret-Regamey, Christian Hirschi, Heike Lischke, Roland Werner Scholz, Roman Seidl, Thomas Spiegelberger, Ariane WalzORCiDGND, Willi Zimmermann, Harald Bugmann
DOI:https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-05499-180336
ISSN:1708-3087 (print)
Parent Title (English):Ecology and society : a journal of integrative science for resilience and sustainability
Publisher:Resilience Alliance
Place of publication:Wolfville
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2013
Year of Completion:2013
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:adaptive management; climate change; ecosystem services; experiments; interdisciplinary research; land-use change; modeling; transdisciplinary research
Volume:18
Issue:3
Pagenumber:20
Funder:Competence Center Environment and Sustainability of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access