IPROMO 2023 Summer School

Youth and the future of Mountain Forests


The sustainable management of mountain areas is crucial to protect mountain ecosystems and ensure that they continue to support our life with the essential goods and services provided.

The youth and children of today will be the stewards of the planet tomorrow. For the first time, this IPROMO course is targeting exclusively young practitioners under 35, mainly from developing countries. The participants will be asked to contribute to promoting awareness about the challenges faced by mountains and to engage in supporting the mountain agenda globally.

The relevance of mountains has been recently confirmed by the decision of the United Nations General Assembly to declare 2022 as the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development (IYM2022). Moreover, 2021 marked the first year of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, reiterating the importance of preventing, halting, and reversing the degradation of ecosystems worldwide.

This year will also mark the sixteenth annual IPROMO course. Since then, more than 500 people from all over the world have been trained and have shared their knowledge. Since 2021, a parallel IPROMO course in Spanish is held in Latin America.

This year's course will focus on three main topics: a) understanding the sustainable management of mountain forests, b) identifying specific policies that can support sustainable mountain forest management, c) and understanding how to involve youth in the effort better.

Mountains and their resources are critical for a healthy planet. Mountains provide freshwater to more than half of humanity, host about half of the world's biodiversity hotspots, provide habitat to 25 percent of terrestrial biodiversity and distinctive human communities, and are widely covered by forests (about 40 percent of the entire mountain area). 

The role of mountains as a refuge and reservoir for biodiversity is expected to increase as lowland species migrate to cooler highlands in response to rising global temperatures. This could pose a threat to flora and fauna in mountain areas, but at the same time, mountains will be vital to support lowland species' survival.

Mountain landscapes are increasingly exposed to hazards such as floods, accelerated soil erosion, landslides, avalanches, wildfires and are subject to land-use conversion and the unsustainable use of resources. These multifaceted challenges threaten the integrity of mountain landscapes and the resilience of their biodiversity as well as the livelihoods of mountain communities. The loss of ecosystem integrity often means increasing poverty and hunger for mountain peoples who are already amongst the world's poorest and food insecure. Furthermore, as resources become scarce, resource-use conflicts arise, forcing many communities to migrate elsewhere, often with severe negative implications for their social fabric, such as their traditional knowledge, cultures, and languages.

IPROMO is a training programme promoted in the framework of the Mountain Partnership and meant to be a contribution to better understanding the challenges faced by mountain ecosystems and mountain peoples and to catalyze action towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in mountains as well as the 2023-2027 Five Years of Action for the Development of the Mountain Regions and the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.


The IPROMO 2023 Summer School will focus on policies, tools and skills that contribute to sustainable and integrated management of mountain areas.

This year's topics will include understanding key issues related to sustainable mountain development such as mountain forests and ecosystems services, livelihoods and enterprise development, climate change, governance and policy, and agroforestry.

Expected Outcomes

At the end of the course, participants will have built an advanced understanding of sustainable management of mountain forests and a broader perspective of what sustainable mountain development entails. Moreover, IPROMO participants will join a unique network of mountain researchers and practitioners with whom to develop future collaborations.


Structure and Venue

The course will be held in person.

The summer school will take place in two charming Italian alpine venues – Ormea in northwest Italy, and Pieve Tesino in northeast Italy – with field trips to the surrounding areas. The course can accommodate approximately 30 participants, whom will be selected among officers, researchers and technicians dealing with mountain and forestry issues from all over the world. This year, given the specific focus of the course, only participants under 35 years will be considered.

All selected participants are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination status.

Participants will arrive on 10 July 2023 and activities will begin on 11 July 2023 with an overview of the course and end on 25 July 2023 with a closing ceremony. The course will include lectures, seminars, group work and field trips. The lecturers will be experts from the United Nations system, universities, international organizations and non-governmental organizations.

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.

The activities in Ormea will be supported by the City of Ormea and organized by the University of Turin's Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (DISAFA), the Interdepartmental Research Centre on Natural Risks in Mountain and Hilly Environments (NatRisk) and the National Research Council - Research Institute for Hydrogeological Prevention and Protection (CNR-IRPI).

Basic information

Scientific Directors:

Professor Michele Freppaz - Department of 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 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

Scientific Director and Chair:

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

Course manager:

Tommaso Chiti - Department 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
Age limit: under 35

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