Mountain summer course in Italy to open


Participants of the 2017 International Programme on Research and Training on Sustainable Management of Mountain Areas (IPROMO) will meet on 5 July in Ormea and Pieve Tesino, Italy to begin a two-week training programme on sustainable mountain development. About 30 professionals from the fields of Agriculture, Economics, Forestry, Biology, Geology and Geography will attend the full-immersion course, which will include lectures, teamwork and excursions conducted by instructors from universities, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and regional and international organizations who work on sustainable mountain development.

This 2017 IPROMO summer school marks the tenth anniversary of the programme. The theme of this year’s training is “Environmental and economic issues to enhance mountain sustainability“.

Mountain ecosystems are increasingly affected by global challenges such as food insecurity, climate change, land degradation and natural disasters. The extreme vulnerability of these ecosystems puts their natural resources under increasing pressure, which heavily affects the mountain peoples who depend on these resources for their livelihoods by exacerbating poverty and triggering social tensions, out-migration and depopulation.

Lowland as well as highland communities depend on mountains. In fact, over half of the human population depend on mountains for water, biodiversity, forests and clean energy. Yet in spite of this clear evidence of their global importance and of their disproportionate vulnerability to global challenges, mountains still do not receive the required attention in international negotiations and national policy making.

Key challenges and opportunities related to mountains will be discussed during the 2017 course – ranging from watershed, natural resources and soils management to disaster risk reduction, climate change, economic development, mountain forestry and governance – to provide an overview of the main issues related to sustainable mountain development. Working groups will be formed, allowing participants to share their knowledge and build a network of experts.

There will be a field trip to Aosta Valley, in cooperation with the Institut Agricole Régional, which will allow participants to discover various economic activities in mountain areas, while field visits near Pieve Tesino will focus on mountain forestry and wood production for musical instruments. The activities in Ormea will be organized by the University of Turin (DISAFA-NatRisk), in collaboration with the CNR-IRPI and with financial support from the City of Ormea. The activities in Pieve Tesino will be supported by the Centre of Alpine Studies of the University of Tuscia, the City of Pieve Tesino, the Community of Valsugana and Tesino, and the Autonomous Province of Trento.

“There are still only a few universities in the world that offer courses devoted to the study, understanding and promotion of the development of mountainous areas, which are often a forgotten ecosystem despite their key role for the health of our planet,” said Rosalaura Romeo, programme officer of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat at FAO. “The purpose of IPROMO is to develop the capacity of those who attend the course to integrate mountain issues into their work and to share what they have learned with others.”

The tenth IPROMO course was jointly organized and funded by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat/FAO, the University of Turin (Italy) and, from this year, also by the University of Tuscia (Italy). IPROMO has the high patronage of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with financial support from the City of Ormea, FAO and the Consortium for Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecoregion. The course will run from 5 to 19 July 2017.

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Photo: Alma Karsymbek

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