The invasive species

By Félix García Pereira, Rodolfo Pozuelo, Cristina Vegas, Jesús Fidel González-Rouco.
GuMNet, Universidad Complutense, IGEO UCM-CSIC.

On the second week of December 2020 has been mostly holidays for people from Madrid city in Spain (the madrileños). The national celebration of the Spanish Constitution and a local religious event made up for a long bank holiday. Some of us saw the occasion to escape the Covid-atmosphere in town and have a few days off in the Parque Nacional Sierra de Guadarrama, less than one hour drive from the capital of Spain and still within the Community of Madrid, and thus still complying with the official regional confinement. (more…)

More resilience, please! A plea to rethink in the current crisis

Thomas Streifeneder, economic geographer and head of the Institute for Regional Development and Location Management of the European Academy of Bozen/Bolzano/Italy (EURAC Research).

It is quite surprising to see that there is one aspect we are not reading anything about in these days. Most of the articles telling us about the consequences of the coronavirus do not mention one word: resilience. Shouldn’t it be written somewhere? (more…)

Appreciate mountains and lowlands as partners

By Thomas Dax, Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research (BAB), Austria.

I’d like to turn our attention to recognize highland-lowland interactions as an old paradigm which was foundational for the interest in mountain areas, the changing perceptions towards using them, and realizing the values we attach to them. (more…)

The status quo of dealing with mountain issues in Slovenia

Andreja Borec, University of Maribor, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Slovenia.

Slovenia is a mountainous country with 72,3% of its territory defined as LFA (Areas of Less Favourable Farming). Most of northern part is dominated by the Alps, that reach their southeastern limit of distribution in Slovenia by forested plateau of Pohorje. (more…)

Mountain areas have to re-invent themselves

Without a definition of mountains, how can we do mountain research?

By Bernat Claramunt, researcher at CREAF, lecturer at the Unit of Ecology (BABVE, UAB) and coordinator of NEMOR.

A definition of mountains is not necessary for our friends and families; they know very well when they are in the mountains. Where this definition is needed to be known and accepted is in academia, an extremely complex world that requires precise definitions of virtually everything with which we work.

Teaching about mountains in the time of Covid-19

By Audrey Vincent, geographer, lecturer-researcher at ISARA.

ISARA is an engineering school specialised in agriculture, food science and environment. We offer a wide range of Bachelor and Master level curricula in these fields. Next to teaching, we also have research activities as well as advisory and consultancy services. Every year, we offer in June a module dedicated to mountains, their specificities and their challenges. It is taught in English and can be followed by ISARA students as well as by students coming from our partner universities.


Mountain village

Planning ahead: Broadband and education in the mountains beyond Covid19

By Martin Price, Director of the Centre for Mountain Studies, Perth College, University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland – with thanks to Euromontana for some of the links!

During the current Covid19 crisis, we have become ever more dependent on the quality of our broadband connections, for many aspects of our lives.  All our meetings are now online (I have now used six different platforms!), those of us with children have had to become part-time home teachers (while trying to work full-time…) using online materials provided by their childrens’ schools (and, in the UK, the BBC) and universities have had to rapidly shift their delivery online. For some universities, this is not just a short-term measure: for example, Cambridge University has announced that all lectures will be online until the end of the next academic year.


In the meanwhile, in the mountains: new opportunities on the horizon

By Jorge Gimeno Pawlowski, member of the board of Center for Innovative Education (CIE) and advisor for EU affairs.

Writing this article has been an exercise in responsibility, creativity and numerous debates within the Center for Innovative Education (CIE). Having the honour of being the second to write after Tor Arnesen, our partner in NEMOR and author of the great article that precedes this one, is not an easy task. In fact, we had a similar idea of writing about the mountains of opportunities springing from the coronavirus crisis we are experiencing.


In the meanwhile, in Norway: the coronavirus crisis puts emergency preparedness in rural mountain municipalities on the agenda

By Tor Arnesen, researcher at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences.

About half of the Norwegians has access to a second home and many people divide their time and lives between an apartment in the city and their cabin in rural mountain areas. When the Covid 2019-crisis hit in March 2020, the Norwegian government instructed, by emergency law, second home households to leave the mountains and return to the cities. The reason: the emergency preparedness in the rural mountain municipalities hosting second homes, is not capable of dealing with as many people as they de facto have in their community when second home households are counted in. (more…)