Sustainable mountain development and characterising mountains


Staff at the Centre for Mountain Studies have worked on a range of projects that have sought to characterise mountain areas, identify key issues relevant to sustainable mountain development, and provide inputs to policy and planning.

Mountain areas occupy 24% of the Earth’s land surface; they are home to 12% of the global population, and another 14% of the population live in their immediate proximity. Globally, mountain areas are vital sources of water for agricultural, industrial, and domestic use. They include major centres of biodiversity, often coinciding with centres of cultural diversity where traditional ecological knowledge is maintained. In an urbanising world, mountain areas are key locations for tourism and recreation; some include major urban areas.


Balanced Regional Development in Areas with Geographical Specificities (BRIDGES, 2017-2018)

Commissioned by the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion (ESPON), this project aims to identify and suggest bridges between territories with geographical specificities and other parts of Europe, highlighting their mutual interdependencies. The ultimate purpose of the project is to elaborate evidence-informed inputs to policies at the European, national and regional levels.  Final Report

Europe’s mountains in the context of Cohesion Policy (2015-16)

In 2016, the European Parliament is considering the role of mountains in the Cohesion Policy of the EU. The main aim of funding under this policy is to reduce the economic, social and territorial disparities that still exist in the EU. To inform the debate, the European Parliament Think Tank commissioned a review paper; Martin Price was one of the contributors and the final editor.

Geographic Specificities and Development Potentials in Europe (GEOSPECS, 2010-2012)

Commissioned by the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion (ESPON), this project aimed to provide a coherent framework to characterize past trends, state and potential future developments of geographic specificities for territorial policy and regional development.

Mountain Forests in a Changing World (2011)

Commissioned by the Swiss Agency for Deveopment and Cooperation and published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), this report on mountain forests was a contribution to the International Year of Forests (2011).

Rio+20: regional report on sustainable mountain development in the Alps (2011)

Commissioned by the Swiss Bundesamt für Raumentwicklung, this project involved an evaluation of the progress that has since been made in the Alps with regard to sustainable mountain development since the Rio declaration (1992).

Integrated assessment of Europe's mountains (2004 and 2010)

Commissioned by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Regional Policy (2004) and the European Environment Agency (2010), Professor Martin Price co-ordinated these integrated assessments of the current status of, and trends relating to, the environment and sustainable development of the mountains of Europe, in order to inform the implementation and development of relevant policies.

Mountain agrofood products in Europe (EuroMARC, 2006-2008, with follow-on work in 2012)

A European project facilitated by Euromontana to provide a representative overview of the different meanings of mountain food products along the food chain, from end-users/consumers, to retailers, producers, farmers, and ‘mountain’ policy makers.

SpatialNorth: Large-scale regional planning (2005-2007)

A 30-month project funded primarily by the European Commission's Northern Periphery Programme (Interreg IIIB) to assess current levels of policy coordination across the four partner countries. CMS carried out an evaluation of the Atlantic Coast (Wester Ross) project as part of SpatialNorth.

Key issues for Scotland's mountain areas report (2002)

This report, published by Scottish Natural Heritage, identified the main values of Scotland's mountain areas as perceived by members of conservation, recreation, and landowning organisations.

Mountains of the world reports (2000-2002)

Three reports compiled by Mountain Agenda (with Professor Martin Price as lead editor) on issues related to mountain areas.