This month over 800 mountain researchers came together at the heart of the Tyrolean Alps in Innsbruck, Austria for the 2022 International Mountain Conference (IMC), the largest of its kind featuring over 60 events focusing on a broad range of mountain research topics from across all disciplines. GEO Mountains took part in two main sessions at #IMC22 and enjoyed the opportunity to connect with wide cross-section of mountain researchers from multiple regions and disciplines.  

Firstly, GEO Mountains co-convened a Focus Session entitled ‘Obtaining and integrating interdisciplinary mountain data.' This session brought together numerous excellent presentations, with topics ranging from the detection and attribution of mountain climate change impacts conducted for recent IPCC report, the latest gridded population datasets, the modelling of drought impacts, and biodiversity monitoring in the Tropical Andes. In addition, there were contributions on the institutional and scientific procedures that can aid data integration and sharing (e.g., the presentations on the Smart Ecomountains LifeWatch-ERIC and the Davos Environmental Dataset projects). A particular outcome of the session with respect to in situ observations was that funding support needs to cover not only station installation and maintenance, but the (often considerable) efforts that are required to manage and share the resultant datasets.

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Pictured above: Dynamic discussions during the GEO Mountains workshop Identifying Essential Socioeconomic Variables. (Photos: GEO Mountains). 

Secondly, a GEO Mountains workshop was held on 'Identifying Essential Socioeconomic Variables.' The workshop was well attended, and all participants were highly engaged in suggesting how we should monitor the social and ecological components of the world’s mountain systems. Several participants remarked on the real-world utility that such a framework (eventually with an associated database) could have on real world applications, such as disaster response.

More generally, the conference was an excellent opportunity to meet and discuss the objectives of GEO Mountains with a wide cross-section of mountain researchers from multiple regions and disciplines.

Cover image by Esse Chua.


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