Mountains 2018 is an international conference that will bring together scholars, professionals, policy makers and others involved with multiple aspects of the mountain world. The Conference seeks to stimulate and disseminate knowledge about the topic based on lessons learned from scientific research and practical experiences related to use and challenges of promoting sustainable development in mountain territories, including how mountains can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. Mountains 2016, the first of the series, occurred in Bragança, Portugal ( One of the outcomes of this event was the launching of the Lusophony Mountain Research Network – Lumont  ( to encourage exchange among Portuguese speaking members. The establishment of this network provided additional support for Brazil to organize the next Conference. As a result, Mountains 2018 will take place, in Nova Friburgo, located in the mountain region of the state of Rio de Janeiro, on December 11th-15th.

In Nova Friburgo, high-altitude tropical climate prevails: the winter (July to September) is cool and dry and the summer (December to March) is warm and humid. Annual temperature averages 18oC. Most important local industries include: metallurgy, textiles, garment, tourism, horticulture and raising goat.  Nova Friburgo’s highest peak (Pico Maior) reaches 2,366 m of altitude and it also the highest point of the entire Sea Mountain Chain (Serra do Mar). Also known as the Brazilian Mountain, this mountain chain reaches nearly 1,500 kilometers along the east and south of Brazilian coastal line, extending from the state of Rio de Janeiro to the state of Santa Catarina.

Nova Friburgo’s Pico Maior is located in the State Park of the Three Peaks, the largest one in the state of Rio de Janeiro, encompassing an area of nearly 65,000 hectares. In addition to the park, Nova Fribugo has other four conservation units aiming at conservation of the Atlantic Forest. As a result, the city stands out as the one with the highest conservation level in Brazil, with 44% of its territory covered by native vegetation. Most of this vegetation consists of secondary forest in average or advanced stages of regeneration. There are also fragments of rocky habitats plant communities and altitude fields which are physiognomies composed basically of woody species in shallow and poor soils.

In recent decades, deforestation has led to loss of biodiversity, impacting both rural and urban areas. In rural areas, the best alternative to reconcile agriculture production and restoration of biodiversity is adoption of agro ecological practices. Along these lines, different agencies engaged in Research and Development have promoted interesting alternatives that can contribute to mitigation of impacts related to climate changes, hence reducing possibilities of tragedies such as the one that lashed the city in 2011. Such event, considered by United Nations the worst ever to hurt Brazil, resulted from heavy rains and flooding in the region. Likewise, in other mountain regions around the world, environmental conservation strategies and sustainable development are equally important to ensure quality of life, both of current and future generations. We hope Mountains 2018 will bring opportunities for fruitful discussions related to these issues.

Mountains 2018 will be organized along two axes:  III Workshop on Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions; and the II International Conference on Research for Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions. The Workshop will focus on practical experiences related to sustainable development in mountain regions, gathering professionals and other stakeholders actively working towards this urgent goal. The Conference will discuss issues related to scientific research and perspectives to enhance and disseminate knowledge about mountains, gathering researchers and other professionals interested in the topic. English will be the official language of both events.  Aiming at encouraging a significant level of decentralization in the planning process of the event, the organizers invite institutions, private sector, researchers and other professionals interested in contributing to the concept of the event and its organization and providing support.

Suggestions about themes to be discussed during the event and information about possible involvement (sponsor, speaker, participant, coordinator of round table(s), facilitator of workshop(s) etc.) should be sent by e-mail to