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Course 2010:  Protecting Mountain Biodiversity


Mountains are among the world's greatest sources of biodiversity, providing refuge to a variety of plants and animals. Many of these species have disappeared from lowland areas, crowded out by human activities. Many others exist nowhere else but on mountains. 
Isolation and relative inaccessibility have helped protect and preserve species in mountains from deer, eagles and llamas to wild varieties of mustard, cardamom, gooseberry and pumpkin.
These precious reserves of genetic diversity are our insurance for the future, particularly as the global economy continues to turn lowland habitats into fields of high-yield food crops monocultures that feed many of the world people but are vulnerable to evolving pests and pathogens.
Up until now, mountain ecosystems and mountain people have received inadequate attention from governments and organizations worldwide a disparity that threatens not only mountain life but the richness of lives everywhere. 
For the reasons stated above and also as a contribution to the observance of the International Year of Biodiversity 2010, the 2010 edition of the IPROMO Summer School was focused on how to protect Mountain Biodiversity.


The overall purpose of the third summer IPROMO course was to provide post-graduate students, researchers and technicians with scientific knowledge and better understanding of the importance of protecting mountain biodiversity and to enhance their ability to assess potential ecological and social impacts of different management policies. It was particularly aimed at those coming from areas characterised by degraded and overexploited mountain ecosystems in particular from developing countries. 
The course focused on the significance of mountain biodiversity, land use and climate change effects on mountain biodiversity, large scale patterns (latitudinal and altitudinal) of mountain biodiversity (including invasive species, recent facts and research results on mountain biodiversity and protected areas, biological corridors and transboundary agreements and their role in protecting mountain biodiversity.

Structure and Venue

The course was held from 9 to 23 July 2010 with 15 days of full immersion learning. It included lectures, practice, labs, and field trips. The course was  held in various locations in the Italian Alps, representing different aspects of biodiversity: the first period in the higher Alps (Chisone Valley), then the group moved to Sesia Valley close to the Mount Rosa, and the third period to the South-western Alps close to the Mediterranean sea (Tanaro Valley).

Lecturers included university professors, UN officers and professionals from different parts of the world.

Click here for the schedule of the course


Basic information


Scientific Director: Prof. Ermanno Zanini - DI.VA.P.R.A. Faculty of Agriculture - University of Torino, Italy. 

Mountain Partnership Secretariat: Rosalaura Romeo, FAO, Rome. 

Official language for course: English

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