Center for Mountain Studies

Perth, United Kingdom

Center for Mountain Studies

Perth, United Kingdom
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Reed M.S.,University of Aberdeen | Buenemann M.,New Mexico State University | Atlhopheng J.,University of Botswana | Akhtar-Schuster M.,University of Hamburg | And 27 more authors.
Land Degradation and Development | Year: 2011

For land degradation monitoring and assessment (M&A) to be accurate and for sustainable land management (SLM) to be effective, it is necessary to incorporate multiple knowledges using a variety of methods and scales, and this must include the (potentially conflicting) perspectives of those who use the land. This paper presents a hybrid methodological framework that builds on approaches developed by UN Food & Agriculture Organisation's land degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA), the World Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) programme and the Dryland Development Paradigm (DDP), and is being applied internationally through the EU-funded DESIRE project. The framework suggests that M&A should determine the progress of SLM towards meeting sustainability goals, with results continually and iteratively enhancing SLM decisions. The framework is divided into four generic themes: (i) establishing land degradation and SLM context and sustainability goals; (ii) identifying, evaluating and selecting SLM strategies; (iii) selecting land degradation and SLM indicators and (iv) applying SLM options and monitoring land degradation and progress towards sustainability goals. This approach incorporates multiple knowledge sources and types (including land manager perspectives) from local to national and international scales. In doing so, it aims to provide outputs for policy-makers and land managers that have the potential to enhance the sustainability of land management in drylands, from the field scale to the region, and to national and international levels. The paper draws on operational experience from across the DESIRE project to break the four themes into a series of methodological steps, and provides examples of the range of tools and methods that can be used to operationalise each of these steps. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Price M.F.,Center for Mountain Studies | Park J.J.,Center for Mountain Studies | Bouamrane M.,UNESCO
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2010

For sites designated within international networks, reporting processes have been established to ensure that these sites continue to exhibit their special characteristics and contribute to the goals of their respective network. One such network is the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR), composed of sites designated under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere programme. This paper summarises the evolution of the concept and the realities of biosphere reserves since 1976; describes the introduction of the Statutory Framework for the WNBR, which formalised the concept and introduced a periodic review process to provide oversight of its implementation; evaluates the extent to which, since 1996, this process has been successful in achieving its aims; discusses changes which have been proposed and implemented; and provides suggestions for future action. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Garrard R.,University of Bern | Kohler T.,University of Bern | Price M.F.,Center for Mountain Studies | Byers A.C.,Mountain Institute | And 2 more authors.
Mountain Research and Development | Year: 2016

Land use and land cover (LULC) changes that occurred during 1992-2011 in Sagarmatha National Park, a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site in the Himalayas of eastern Nepal, were evaluated using multitemporal satellite imagery in combination with land use data and sociological information gathered from semistructured interviews and workshops. We asked study participants about LULC changes, the causes of each change, and the likely duration of its effects, and used this information to produce high-resolution maps of local perceptions of LULC change. Satellite image analysis revealed that above 6000 m there has been a decrease in the area covered by snow and ice and a consequent expansion of glacial lakes and areas covered by rock and soil. Between 3000 and 6000 m, forest and farmland are decreasing, and areas under grazing, settlement, and shrubland are increasing. Such LULC changes within the protected area clearly indicate the prevailing danger of land degradation. Results from the interviews and workshops suggest that people tended to detect LULC change that was acute and direct, but were less aware of slower changes that could be identified by satellite imagery analysis. Most study participants said that land use changes were a result of rapid economic development and the consequent pressure on natural resources, especially in the tourism industry and especially below 6000 m elevation, as well as limitations to protected area management and a period of civil war. Human influence coupled with climate change may explain the changes at higher elevations, whereas anthropogenic activities are solely responsible in lower areas. Although global factors cannot be mitigated locally, many of the local drivers of LULC change could be addressed with improved management practices that aid local conservation and development in this high mountain ecosystem. A broader interdisciplinary approach to LULC change should include a mix of satellite image analysis and local observations. © 2016 Church.

Warren C.R.,University of St. Andrews | Mckee A.,Center for Mountain Studies
Scottish Geographical Journal | Year: 2011

Land reform was given high political priority in Scotland following devolution in 1999. The overall objective of the 2003 Land Reform Act (LRA) was to remove the land-based barriers to the sustainable development of rural communities. Using a combination of an expert survey, published commentaries and empirical evidence, this paper critically analyses stakeholder perceptions of the early impacts of the Act and its likely future effects. Further, it evaluates the claims and counter-claims regarding the pros and cons of two contrasting models of land ownership: private ownership, which has long dominated rural Scotland, and the new forms of 'social ownership' by community and conservation bodies. We find that the LRA has accelerated a pre-existing trend away from a dualistic pattern of ownership (private and state) towards a more pluralistic pattern with many experimental models and multi-stakeholder partnerships. The research shows that neither the positive expectations nor the fears expressed about land reform have been fulfilled. Nevertheless, although the Act's buy-out provisions have so far been little used, the LRA has effected a decisive shift in the balance of power between landowners and communities. © 2011 Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

Comber A.,University of Leicester | Carver S.,University of Leeds | Fritz S.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | McMorran R.,Center for Mountain Studies | And 2 more authors.
Computers, Environment and Urban Systems | Year: 2010

Different multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) approaches are applied to a fuzzy wildness mapping problem in Scotland. The result of fuzzy weighted linear combination and fuzzy order weighted averaging approaches are compared with the application of a Dempster-Shafer MCE. We discuss the implications of different approaches in light of decision making associated with suitability in a context where (i) suitability (wildness) may not be very well defined, (ii) the decision makers may not fully understand the informatics aspects associated with applying weights, but (iii) require decisions to be accountable and transparent. In such situations we suggest that the outputs of Dempster-Shafer MCE may be more appropriate than a fully fuzzy model of suitability. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

Carver S.,University of Leeds | Comber A.,University of Leicester | McMorran R.,Center for Mountain Studies | Nutter S.,University of Leeds
Landscape and Urban Planning | Year: 2012

This paper presents a robust and repeatable method for mapping wildness in support of decisions about planning, policy and management in protected landscapes. This is based around the application of high resolution data and GIS models to map four attributes of wildness: perceived naturalness of land cover, absence of modern human artefacts in the landscape, rugged and challenging nature of the terrain, and remoteness from mechanised access. These are combined using multi-criteria evaluation and fuzzy methods to determine spatial patterns and variability in wild land quality. The approach is demonstrated and tested for the two national parks in Scotland: the Cairngorms National Park and the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. This is presented within a wider debate on the ability of such models to accurately depict and spatially define the concept of wildness within both the Scottish setting and the wider global context. Conclusions are drawn as to scalability and transferability, together with potential future applications including local and national level mapping, and support for landscape character assessment, planning policy and development control. Maps of the wild land core, buffer and periphery areas of the two parks are presented. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

McMorran R.,SRUC Edinburgh | Santini F.,European Commission | Guri F.,European Commission | Gomez-Y-Paloma S.,European Commission | And 6 more authors.
Revue de Geographie Alpine | Year: 2015

Recent research has demonstrated significant demand for foods from Europe’s mountain areas; the production of these foods delivers significant positive externalities, despite producers facing greater constraints than their lowland equivalents. Existing markets often fail to account for these factors due to a lack of clear definition of mountain products. This research investigated the current and potential future role of food labelling and certification to support mountain food supply chains and sustainable mountain development, using expert/ stakeholder interviews, spatial analysis, and email survey. Results demonstrate that existing EU Geographical Indication schemes are important for marketing mountain foods; however, they are less suitable for small-scale producers. National schemes for certifying mountain products have limited effectiveness, although considerable scope for enhancement exists. Recent EU legislation defining mountain products represents a considerable opportunity; however, challenges and potential trade-offs remain regarding the development of criteria on the location of supply chain stages and environmental factors, certification and control methods, and definition of mountain areas. © 2015, Armand Colin. All rights reserved.

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