Mount Elgon Forestry Resources and Institutions Monitoring Program
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Mount Elgon Forestry Resources and Institutions Monitoring Program

Mount Elgon is a unique cross-border afro-montane ecosystem between Uganda and Kenya that provides a variety of goods and services essential to human livelihoods. It is not only an important biodiversity hotspot but also a major water tower for both Uganda and Kenya, serving as a catchment area for the drainage systems of many lakes […]

Ecological Calendars and Climate Adaptation in the Pamirs
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Ecological Calendars and Climate Adaptation in the Pamirs

What are Ecological Calendars? Calendars enable us to anticipate future conditions and plan activities. Ecological calendars keep track of time by observing seasonal changes in our habitat (Fig. 1). The nascence of a flower, emergence of an insect, arrival of a migratory bird, breakup of ice, or last day of snow cover – each is […]

P3: People, Pollution, and Pathogens— Mountain Ecosystems in a Human-Altered World
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P3: People, Pollution, and Pathogens— Mountain Ecosystems in a Human-Altered World

Trouble in Paradise We just had arrived in the French Pyrenees. The beauty of the Pyrenees was stunning, somehow reminiscent of the mighty Canadian Rockies in its wildness and remoteness. We marveled at the sharp peaks, clear waters and wonderfully green vegetation, and pondered the multitude of research threads we could explore in such a […]

NILE-NEXUS: Opportunities for a Sustainable Food-Energy-Water Future in the Blue Nile Mountains of Ethiopia
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NILE-NEXUS: Opportunities for a Sustainable Food-Energy-Water Future in the Blue Nile Mountains of Ethiopia

I first met Belay Simane at a United Nations negotiation in Germany. We were both on government delegations to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and during one of the many, many procedural delays we struck up conversation. It turned out neither of us were full-time negotiators. In fact, we were both researchers, […]

Ecological and Socioeconomic Impacts of Climate-Induced Tree Diebacks in Highland Forests
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Ecological and Socioeconomic Impacts of Climate-Induced Tree Diebacks in Highland Forests

Background Mountain forests play a major role in the preservation of biodiversity and provide important ecosystem services such as climate regulation. However, some of these forests show extensive tree mortality (“forest diebacks”) caused by a combination of factors, such as severe and recurrent summer drought, pollution, and insect and pathogen outbreaks. Some of the most […]

The aesthetics of earthquake reconstruction in Nepal
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The aesthetics of earthquake reconstruction in Nepal

When I visited Nepal half a year after the devastating 2015 earthquake, no reconstruction had been initiated. Villagers lived in temporary sheds raised on the ruins of their dwellings and concentrated efforts on saving the harvest, giving first priority to food security. They waited for the government to distribute the promised NPR 300,000 (USD 3,000) […]

Landscape experts meet in the European Alps
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Landscape experts meet in the European Alps

Around 200 participants from Europe, Asia and the Americas met at the PECSRL 2016 conference in Innsbruck and Seefeld, Austria, from September 5 to 9 to discuss the past, present and future of rural mountain landscapes. Dating back to 1957, the Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape (PECSRL) is an international […]

A fine balance: Water and warmth in the Upper Indus Valley
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A fine balance: Water and warmth in the Upper Indus Valley

Most news coming out of the border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan since the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led by NATO started its operations in Afghanistan in 2001 deal with American drones, the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, terrorist attacks on schools and police stations, and the whereabouts of the Taliban. But in the […]