Course 2020


Application form


Participants' presentations

IPROMO 2020 Summer School

Mountains in a changing climate: Threats, challenges and opportunities



According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the definition of climate change is: A change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g. by using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcing, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use.

Because of its impacts on a wide array of human activities and environments, climate change must be considered in any local, subnational or national framework in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Therefore, climate change inherently focuses on connecting – people, sectors, production systems, and more - and therefore facilitates the targeting and harmonization of policies and achievement of results.

Mountains are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Temperatures are rising faster at high elevations, with some areas experiencing global warming at a rate twice as fast as the global average. Glaciers are melting, more people and infrastructures are exposed to natural hazards, water resources and agriculture are being negatively impacted, and biodiversity is being lost. An integrated climate change approach in mountains allows for more effective sustainable management policies, adaptation and mitigation measures, which can prevent and mitigate the negative effects of climate change on mountain environments and communities. Sustainable management of mountains is essential for sustaining ecosystem services such as freshwater supply and food crop diversity, but also for combating the threats posed to local communities that are vulnerable to food insecurity and poverty.

Climate change is just one of the many challenges faced by mountains. Mining, deforestation, unsustainable agriculture and over-grazing are other key issues that must be considered when creating a sustainable development strategy in mountains. Improving livelihoods and sustaining ecosystem services requires fostering innovation, knowledge exchange and co-learning across mountain regions to scale out successful ‘seeds of innovation’. It requires partnerships between institutions, governments and communities, linking science and traditional knowledge and merging research with practice.

An integrated approach in mountains allows for different stakeholders - government officials, civil society and community members, including indigenous peoples - to adopt a holistic planning and implementation scheme that involves both bottom up and top down processes, integrating traditional knowledge and innovation. Moreover, such approaches must be adopted globally and across sectors in order to effectively mitigate the impacts of climate change and prevent it from further escalating at the local, regional and global scale. However, adaptation and mitigation measures are just one part of the solution. The main goal must be to take urgent actions to reduce greenhouse emissions and to achieve the goals set by the Paris agreement.




The IPROMO summer school will focus on several aspects, tools and skills that contribute to an integrated management of mountain areas through the many lenses of climate change. Topics include environmental conservation, watershed management, mountain forests, soils and biodiversity, and also mountain policy, economics and communication strategies for the digital age. The field trip to the Aosta Valley Region will allow participants to discover different examples of sustainable mountain resources management. The interrelations between climate change, watershed management, poverty reduction, food insecurity and other global challenges in mountain areas will be discussed during the course. Working groups will be formed, allowing participants to share their knowledge and build a network of experts.


Structure and Venue


The summer school will be held in two charming Italian alpine venues – Ormea and Pieve Tesino – with field excursions to surrounding areas. The course can accommodate approximately 25 participants, who will be selected among officers, development experts and technicians from all over the world.

Activities will begin with the gathering of participants in Trento and end with the closing ceremony in Turin. The course will include lectures, seminars, group work and field trips. The lecturers will be experts from the UN system, universities, research centers, international organizations and NGOs.

The activities in Ormea will be organized by the University of Turin (DISAFA-NatRisk), in cooperation with the CNR-IRPI, and with financial support from the Town of Ormea.

The activities in Pieve Tesino will be organized by the Centre of Alpine Studies of the University of Tuscia, the City of Pieve Tesino and the communities of Valsugana and Tesino.



Basic information


Scientific Directors:

Professor Michele Freppaz - Department of excellence Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (DISAFA) - Interdepartmental Research Centre on Natural Risks in Mountain and Hilly Environments (NatRisk), University of Turin, Italy

Professor Giuseppe Scarascia Mugnozza – Department of excellence for Innovation in Biological, Agro-food and Forest Systems (DIBAF), University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy

Programme coordinator:

Rosalaura Romeo - Mountain Partnership Secretariat, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy

Chair and course managers:

Danilo Godone - National Research Council, Research Institute for Hydrogeological Prevention and Protection (CNR - IRPI), Geohazard Monitoring Group, Turin, Italy

Tommaso Chiti - Department of excellence for Innovation in Biological, Agro-food and Forest Systems (DIBAF), University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy


Official course language:



Excellent command of English
Advanced scientific degree 

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