Sustainable Mountain Development for Global Change (SMD4GC)

Mountain regions are key contexts for sustainable global development because (1) mountains provide critical and indispensable goods and services to a significant proportion of humankind; and (2) mountains are among the most disadvantaged regions in a global perspective: they are among the regions with the highest poverty rates, and among those most vulnerable to global (climate) change and related risks.

Global changes including climate change are heavily affecting mountain regions, which exacerbates already existing challenges and increases the pressure on mountain people and resources. This enforces unsustainable land management practices and land abandonment, which in turn might i.a. imperil the provision of key mountain services. With the SMD4GC programme, support to sustainable mountain development (SMD) is provided to increase the resilience of the mountain population, which is increasingly vulnerable due to the ongoing global changes.

Overall goal and outcomes of the programme
The overall goal of SMD4GC is to essentially contribute to SMD under uncertain changes in climatic, environmental and socio-economic conditions, focusing on poverty and risk reduction. The objectives are to launch (policy) instruments for SMD at different levels by local, national and international stakeholders and decision makers, and to implement knowledge-based SMD activities. These objectives will be pursued by generating the following key outputs:

  1. Raised awareness on SMD issues
  2. Increased promotion of and support to SMD activities
  3. Enhanced capacities for SMD knowledge generation
  4. Improved access to SMD knowledge and know-how
  5. Increased stakeholder capacity
  6. Application of knowledge and know-how in pilot studies

Duration: 2013-2017

Funded by: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC under their Global Programme Climate Change (GPCC), Mountain Desk

Collaborators: N. Salzmann, S. Nussbaumer

Partner Institutions:

University of Zurich, incl. WGMS (World Glacier Monitoring Service)

CDE (Centre for Development and Environment, University of Berne)

FDDM (Fondation pour le développement durable des régions de montagne)

ARCOS (Albertine Rift Conservation Society), Uganda

CONDESAN (Consortium for the Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecoregion), Peru

ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development), Nepal

UCA (University of Central Asia), Kirgistan 





Dr. Nadine Salzmann

Department of Geosciences

University of Fribourg
Chemin du Musée 4

CH–1700 Fribourg

   +41 26 300 90 21