Mountain Resilience: A Systematic Literature Review and Paths to the Future

Romano Wyss, Tobias Luthe, Lydia Pedoth, Stefan Schneiderbauer, Carolina Adler, Martha Apple, Eduardo Erazo Acosta, Haley Fitzpatrick, Jamila Haider, Gözde Ikizer, Angelo Jonas Imperiale, Nuray Karanci, Eva Posch, Olimjon Saidmamatov, Thomas Thaler

Mountains are home to a considerable share of the human population. Around a billion people live in mountainous areas, which harbor rich natural and sociocultural diversity. Today, many people living in mountainous areas worldwide face fundamental changes to their cultural and economic living conditions. At the same time, mountain communities have defied harsh environments in the past by adapting to changing natural conditions and showing remarkable levels of resilience. In this review paper, we provide a comprehensive overview of English-language scientific literature on resilience-related topics in mountain areas based on a systematic review of the Scopus® literature database. We propose a structured starting point for science–practice interactions and concrete action-based activities to support livelihoods and strengthen resilience in mountain areas. We suggest that existing knowledge gaps can be addressed by relying on local knowledge and cocreating solutions with communities. In this way, we can build innovative capacity and actively buffer against the impact of crises while supporting deliberate transformation toward sustainability and regeneration to further enhance resilience.

This paper is a key output of the MRI Mountain Resilience Working Group, co-led by Tobias Luthe (ETH Zurich PLUS/AHO Oslo / Monviso Institute) and Romano Wyss (EPFL). Wyss and Luthe are co-lead authors of the paper along with support from 13 other working group co-authors.