Mountain research in UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme: The first five decades

Martin Francis Price, Thomas Schaaf, Maria Cárdenas Tomažič

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Abstract

Within UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, Project 6 (MAB-6), which considered mountain ecosystems and their inhabitants, was initiated in 1971. To a considerable extent, MAB-6 helped to shape Chapter 13, Managing fragile ecosystems: Sustainable mountain development of Agenda 21, agreed in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. This chapter referred to mountains as important sources of water, energy and biodiversity and other key resources, but as susceptible to erosion, loss of habitats and widespread poverty among mountain people (United Nations 1992, para (13.1). These characteristics and challenges remain true five decades later (e. g., United Nations General Assembly 2019). The two main sections of this paper, first, provide a brief history of MAB-6, its activities and key out-
comes from 1971 to the early 1990s and, second, outline subsequent collaborative international activities in mountain areas within the MAB Programme. The paper ends with conclusions and a look forward.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-98
Journaleco.mont
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 27 Jul 2021

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