Mountainous regions provide numerous goods and services to both highland and lowland populations globally. However, climatic and environmental changes, large-scale political and socio-economic transformations, and the unsustainable management of natural resources threaten this increasingly. Decisions on policy and investment, from the level of local governments to international agencies, must be based on knowledge that reflects both the generalities and specificities of mountainous regions. The paucity of observations from high-elevation regions and associated major gaps in the understanding of mountainous systems thus represent key challenges that must be overcome.


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Aims & Objectives

In this context, GEO Mountains aims to bring together research institutions and mountain observation networks to enhance the discoverability, accessibility, and usability of a wide range of relevant data and information pertaining to environmental and socio-economic systems – both in situ and remotely sensed – across global mountain regions. In doing so, we hope to improve access to such data for the scientific research community, decision makers at local, national, and regional levels, and other interested parties.

Our four more specific objectives are: 

  1. To identify and satisfy the data and information needs of a diverse range of stakeholders operating in the mountain sphere
  2. To improve monitoring and scientific understanding of mountain processes and phenomena, especially under change
  3. To build, connect, and communicate with the community of mountain researchers, practitioners, and policy makers
  4. To develop collective reporting capacity that responds to pre-identified assessment and policy needs

Ultimately, we hope to help ensure that, as a context, mountains assume and retain a prominent position in all major global policy agendas, such as the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement, and assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

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GEO Mountains adheres to and advocates a strong Open Data policy, in accordance with the positions of GEO and the World Data System. We recognise, however, that certain types of sensitive data are subject to restrictions, and respect these.  

We promote knowledge co-production and user engagement. Under these principles, policy and decision makers are actively engaged in the creation of new knowledge. To achieve this within mountain regions, GEO Mountains engages policy actors in a formal on-going consultation process to provide guidance regarding not only the nature of data they need, but also their preferred means for gaining access to it.  

We seek to develop strong connections and synergies with other relevant GEO Work Programme activities, including GEO BON, GEO Human Planet, and Himalayan GEOSS, as well as other relevant network-type organisations such as iLTER/eLTER and PAGES. In addition, via the MRI, we have links to Future Earth.

The MRI Working Groups, especially the Elevation Dependent Climate Change Working Group and Mountain Observatories Working Group, also support GEO Mountains in its endeavours.

supported by

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