Mountain studies: Understanding and managing mountains for people and nature


Karakoram International University (KIU), Gilgit published a book (edited volume) entitled Mountain studies: Understanding and managing mountains for people and nature. The book was an outcome of a project under the U.S. – Pakistan University Partnerships Grants Program, funded by United States Government through the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP). The project aimed to promote education for sustainable mountain development through curriculum enrichment and capacity-building.

The project engaged six universities – COMSATS University Islamabad Abbottabad Campus and Women University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Bagh from Himalayas; University of Baltistan, and Karakoram International University Gilgit from Karakoram; and University of Chitral and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University Sheringal Dir Upper from Hindu Kush.

The book was launched at COMSATS University Islamabad in the presence of Vice Chancellors from the partner universities, senior academicians and representatives of mountain stakeholders, representatives of USEFP and large number of students. Prof. Junaid Zaidi attended the event as the Chief Guest.

The book is intended for those with an academic, scientific, and practical interest in mountains, particularly the Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Himalaya (HKH) region of Pakistan. Primarily, it serves as a resource book for those engaged in teaching and learning about mountains and associated resources. It provides an overview of the key aspects or resources of mountains from a background information to, classification, current status. It also highlights the likely challenges and future directions for conservation of mountain resources.

The book will be a useful resource for teaching as a core course in the mountain universities of Pakistan's HKH region or in similar geographical settings elsewhere, where possible, or by integrating it partially into existing curricula of relevant subjects.

Following an introduction to the HKKH region of Pakistan, this book contains 14 chapters, arranged under three broader thematic areas:

  • Physical landscapes and associated challenges – covering mountain geography, glaciology, land use land cover changes, mountain hazards and climate change;
  • Life and resources – describing mountain ecosystem services, mountain forests, rangelands, wildlife, medicinal and aromatic plants and agroecology; and
  • Governance, markets, and common goods – sustainable mountain tourism, socioeconomic transformation, governing the commons and resource management systems in the highlands

Sixty co-authors representing numerous disciplines from the six partner universities in the HKH region of Pakistan contributed to the chapters. A considerable number of images have been used across all chapters to portray important elements. More than 650 references provide the reader with an invaluable resource to gain first-hand knowledge of mountains in the Asian highlands.

Download here

Author Muhammad Zafar Khan, Tasawar R. Baig, Sajjad Ali, Attaullah Shah
Publisher Karakoram International University
Publication year 2023
Language English

Themes: BiodiversityClimate changeFood securityGenderIndigenous PeoplesNatural hazardsSustainable tourismTraditional knowledgeWater

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