Education for Sustainable Mountain Development: Preliminary Insights From a Web-Based Survey of Opportunities

Kenichi Ueno, Joerg Balsiger, Martin Francis Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


This article provides insights from a survey of education programs for sustainable mountain development (ESMD) and comments on the findings from the perspective of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's.(UNESCO) Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for 2030 framework. Twenty-eight programs implemented by universities, research institutes, and nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are analyzed in terms of program structure, curriculum, and student needs and trajectories. Three-quarters of the programs are based in Europe and North America, the remainder in Central and East Asia and Australia. The programs fall into 6 categories, ranging from traditional university courses to summer schools, university collaborations, distance education, NPO-run skills-focused schools, and research facilities or observatories. Curriculum development toward ESMD has seen considerable progress, even if single-discipline and single-topic programs continue to be widespread. It has embraced fieldwork to offer learners hands-on experience and, increasingly, to work with local stakeholders in problem-oriented settings. Key elements of the ESD for 2030 framework are found, including concern for transformative learning and critical reflection on the structural causes of unsustainability. However, further research is needed to explore less visible aspects such as nonformal and informal education. Policy advocacy and institutional networking are required to scale up innovative approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R1-R8
Number of pages8
JournalMountain Research and Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020


  • higher education institutions
  • institution
  • mountain education
  • sustainability
  • sustainable development
  • web-based survey


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