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UNESCO: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization


Natural Sciences


Sustainable mountain resources management via research, conservation and information sharing

  • © UNESCO/T. Schaaf

Mountain regions represent about one quarter of the Earth's terrestrial surface, and are home to approximately 25% of the global population. Mountains are crucial for life. They offer a wealth of ecosystem functions and services (freshwater, biodiversity, forest products, minerals, habitats for threatened species), and landscapes and cultures of exceptional value.

Yet, such wealth is fragile. Threatened by global and climate change, mountain regions face species extinction, natural hazards (erosion and floods), and changing land use modifying socio-economic conditions and livelihoods of people. UNESCO-MAB assesses the impacts of global and climate change on fragile mountain ecosystems using mountain biosphere reserve as study and monitoring sites, notably through:

  • Project GLOCHAMORE (Global Change in Mountain Regions) and the GLOCHAMORE Research Strategy
  • Project GLOCHAMOST (Global and Climate Change in Mountain Sites - Coping Strategies for Mountain Biosphere Reserves)
  • International conferences and workshops on global and climate change in mountains
  • Two UNESCO Chairs in Sustainable Mountain Development (Kyrgyzstan; United Kingdom)
  • Publications on mountain related issues (see below)


Related links:



Mr Thomas Schaaf
  • Chief, Section of Ecological Sciences and Biodiversity; Dryland management and combating desertification, Mountain research and conservation, Culture-based environmental conservation, Asia-Pacific region

Global Change in Mountain Regions (GLOCHAMORE)
  • Start Date: 
  • 01-10-2003 - 
  • End Date: 
  • 04-11-2008
Development of Cultural and Eco-tourism in the Mountainous Regions of Central Asia and the Himalayas
  • Start Date: 
  • 04-11-2008 - 
  • End Date: 
  • 04-11-2008

  • 22-09-2010
International Conference on Global Change and the World’s Mountains
  • 25-03-2009
New UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Mountain Development
  • 17-11-2008
"All glaciers are already affected by climate change" - Martin Price
  • 13-11-2008
Global Change in Mountain Regions
  • 04-01-2002
International Year of Mountains
Europe and North America Latin America and the Caribbean Africa Arab States Asia Pacific