Capacity development

Training for change

The Mountain Partnership Secretariat organizes every year summer courses, workshops and training sessions to strengthen members’ understanding and expertise on different aspects of sustainable mountain development.

A Mountain Education database is also available online with a wide range of learning opportunities, from free online courses to bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sustainable mountain development and related topics.


Every year since 2008, mid-level government officials and NGO staff from all over the world meet in Piedmont, Italy, for a two-week course to learn and discuss the key challenges and opportunities for mountain sustainable development, topics range from watershed, natural resources and soils management to disaster risk reduction, climate change, economic development, mountain forestry, governance and communication. Main partners are the University of Turin and the University of Tuscia, Italy. As of 2018, over 300 experts have been trained. An ever-expanding virtual network of IPROMO alumni continues the sharing of mountain-related knowledge and information.

Agrobiodiversity in a Changing Climate

This two-week Higher Education Course (HEC) focuses on the importance of biodiversity in agriculture.

In particular, it aims to equip participants with the knowledge and tools to improve resilience and adaptability of cropping and farming systems to climate change while enhancing productivity and marketing strategies, particularly in fragile ecosystems, such as mountains. Organized with Sapienza University of Rome and Bioversity International, the Summer School took place for the first time in 2018 in Rome at FAO Headquarters, and aims to become an annual course of the Mountain Partnership. Main partners: Slow Food International, NaturaSì and IFOAM-Organics International.

Mountain Green Cover Index (SDG 15.4.2)

This training programme was created in 2017 to enhance the capacity of countries to monitor SDGindicator 15.4.2: the Mountain Green Cover Index (MGCI). The MGCI measures the changes in green cover in mountain areas over time as a proxy of the capacity of mountains to fulfil their ecosystem roles. A baseline map for all mountains at global scale was created in 2017, derived by interpretation of remote sensing images of 120,000 plots using Collect Earth, an open source software developed by FAO and Google. The MGCI will be measured every three years to monitor its changes. The MGCI training programme aims to build capacity at country level to improve the data collection and its validation.

Biodiversity for REDD+

This Masterclass training course guides the participants in the interpretation and use of the biodiversity data resulting from multipurpose National Forest Inventories (NFI) designed in the framework of the activities for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). The aim is to understand the relationship between carbon sequestration and forest biodiversity and to translate the results into policy recommendations for a more sustainable management of forests, with special attention on mountain areas. The course was specifically designed with the University of Queensland, Sapienza University and Papua New Guinea’s Forest Research Institute to train the PNG NFI’s staff. The training modules can be replicated in other countries involved in REDD+.

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