Mountain summer course opens in Ormea, Italy


Participants of the ninth International Programme on Research and Training on Sustainable Management of Mountain Areas (IPROMO) met Friday 8 July in Ormea, Italy, to begin a ten-day training programme on sustainable mountain development. About 25 professionals from the fields of Agriculture, Forestry, Biology, Geology and Geography are present for the full-immersion course, which includes lectures, practical work and excursions conducted by experts from the UN system, universities, international organizations and NGOs who work on sustainable mountain development.

The theme of this year’s IPROMO training is “Managing mountain resources and diversities: the role of protected areas“. Giorgio Grussu, Programme Officer of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, gave an overview of the course on Saturday 9 July.

About one third of all protected areas is located in upland and mountain areas and is characterized by a diversity of landscapes, land-cover types and land-use systems. Mountains host about 25 percent of terrestrial biodiversity and have cultural, spiritual and recreational values for many different populations around the globe.

Mountain protected areas can contribute significantly to the livelihoods and food security of mountain peoples while providing universally important environmental services such as clean water and biodiversity resources. In order to ensure that these functions are maintained, the sound and integrated management of mountain protected areas is essential.

The 2016 IPROMO summer course focuses on the fruitful management of mountain protected areas, ranging from sustainable environment conservation to governance rights, income generation and food security. Particular emphasis is being placed on the importance of a participatory approach where local communities and authorities closely cooperate.

There will be a field trip to Aosta Valley (in cooperation with the Institut Agricole Régional), which will allow participants to discover different examples of mountain resource management in protected areas, while the excursion to the Istituto Scientifico Angelo Mosso (Alagna Valsesia) will focus on real examples of soil and geology valorization within the Alta Valsesia Natural Park. The interrelations between climate change and other global challenges and mountain protected areas will be discussed during the course and working groups will be formed, allowing participants to share their knowledge and build a network of experts.

This, the ninth IPROMO course, was jointly organized by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat at the Food and Agriculture Organization and the University of Turin, Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences  - Interdepartmental Research Centre on Natural Risks in Mountain and Hilly Environments. IPROMO has the high patronage of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with financial support from the City of Ormea and international organizations.

The course will run from 8 to 18 July 2016.

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Photo: FAO/Giorgio Grussu

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