IHDP Knowledge Transfer Database

The Mountain Research Initiative

Acronym: MRI

Endorsed Networks

Open Date:


Mountain regions occupy about one fourth of the earth's surface and provide goods and services to about half of humanity. However, the future ability of mountain regions to provide goods and services to both highland and lowland residents is seriously threatened by climatic changes, environmental pollution, unsustainable management of natural resources and serious gaps in understanding of mountain systems. Disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research is required to maintain these goods and services in the face of these forces. The global mountain research community, however, has historically operated at a suboptimal level because of insufficient communication across geographic and linguistic barriers, less than desirable coordination of research frameworks and a lack of funding. To overcome these constraints, the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) was implemented. The ultimate objectives of the collaborative Mountain Research Initiative are: to develop a strategy for detecting signals of global change in mountain environments; to define the consequences of these changes for mountain regions as well as lowland systems dependent on mountain resources; and to make proposals towards sustainable land, water and resource management at local to regional scales. As MRI is a promotion and coordination effort, it cannot simply “do” the research necessary, but must induce research groups and individual scientists to fill the scientific gaps. Thus, four program activities are at MRI's core: MRI enlists key scientists who, in their turn, promote inter- and transdisciplinary research through their respective funding agencies. MRI supports the formation of new research. MRI facilitates the development of peer-reviewed papers on specific key scientific issues. MRI increases the flow on information amongst researchers and thus creates additional interaction and a sense of community.