Mountain ecosystems and the human communities that inhabit them deliver critical resources—such as fresh water and timber—to over half the planet’s human population. Despite their importance, there has been no global assessment of threats to mountain systems, even as they face unprecedented challenges to their sustainability. With survey data from 57 mountain sites
worldwide, we test our understanding of the types of stresses that are threatening mountain systems as well as the resources and beneﬁts that come from mountains. We ﬁnd that mountain systems worldwide are experiencing both gradual and abrupt climatic, economic, and governance changes. One of the most ubiquitous challenges facing mountain systems is that policies directly affecting mountain systems are being made by those living outside of the mountains themselves. Mountains that support primarily subsistence‐oriented livelihoods in the developing world, especially mixed agriculture and animal husbandry systems, deliver abundant services but are also most at risk. Addressing the complex challenges facing mountain systems will require partnerships among researchers, stakeholders, and decision makers to jointly identify the types of futures they desire and the actions to achieve these. This approach will address knowledge gaps in mountains while simultaneously focusing on critical issues of poverty and food security.
Download the Publication Here: Kleinetal_2019_EarthsFuture