Questioning the socio-environmental changes of proglacial spaces? Interested in the synthesis between bottom-up and top-down sustainable management of landscapes? Yearning for transdisciplinary approaches to policy?

Mountain Sentinel collaborators authored a paper that sparks interesting discourse on the subjects above! If you are interested, check out the abstract below and the provided link to the paper.



Alpine glaciers worldwide will lose most of their volume by the end of the 21st century, placing alpine ecosystems and human populations at risk. The new lands that emerge from retreating glaciers provide a host of challenges for ecological and human adaptation to climate change. In these novel proglacial landscapes, ecological succession and natural hazards interplay with local agriculture, hydroelectric production, mining activities, and tourism. Research has emphasized the importance of understanding adaptation around socio-environmental systems, but regional and global management efforts that support local initiatives and connect novel proglacial landscapes to ecological, social, and cultural conservation opportunities are rare and nascent. The characteristics of these emerging lands reflect the nexus of alpine ecosystems with socio-political histories. Often overlooked in glacial-influenced systems are the interdependencies, feedbacks, and tradeoffs between these biophysical system and local populations. There is no coordinated strategy to manage and anticipate these shifting dynamics, while affirming local practices and contexts. There is an opportunity to initiate a new conversation and co-create a governance structure around these novel landscapes and develop a new framework suitable to the Anthropocene era. This article first synthesizes the rapid socio-environmental changes that are occurring in proglacial landscapes. Second, we consider the need for integrating “bottom-up” with “top-down” approaches for the sustainable management of proglacial landscapes. Finally, we propose establishing a transdisciplinary initiative with policy-related goals to further dialogues around the governance and sustainable management of proglacial landscapes. We call for increased cooperation between actors, sectors, and regions, favoring multiscale and integrated approaches.

This article is categorized under:
Climate, Ecology, and Conservation > Conservation Strategies

climate change adaptation, glacier retreat, proglacial landscape, stewardship, sustainable


Read the paper here.