Mountain ecosystems provide a large array of goods and services, which are highly sensitive to both climatic and land-use changes. The political system with its policies and governance structures plays a crucial role in mitigating the impact of such changes and enhancing sustainable management practices. Therefore, this project seeks to apply an integrative approach by combining methods of economics, political science and natural sciences to analyze ecosystem functioning and management in mountain regions impacted by climate change. The primary goal of MOUNTLAND is to contribute to the development of adapted land-use practices and innovative policy solutions for mountain regions that (1) warrant the life-supporting services required for sustainable development, (2) are economically and ecologically efficient, and (3) socially and institutionally feasible.
Based on a concept of a dynamic overall system, this project aims to close feedback loops between these issues, and thus between ecosystem dynamics, socio-economic assessment of ecosystem goods and services, policy-making, and its implications on land management.
Further innovative challenges include:
- Integration of plot-based observational and experimental evidence in a modeling framework and upscaling to the landscape level;
- Evaluation of the effects of adapted land use practices on the provision of ecosystem goods and services;
- Identification of innovative policy solutions involving applications of new instruments and required institutional reforms (integration, allocation of competencies) suited to mitigate negative impacts from climate change.