Promoting Sustainable Mountain Development for Global Change


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.

Our goals

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:

  • Raised awareness on SMD issues
  • Increased promotion of and support to SMD activities
  • Enhanced capacities for SMD knowledge generation
  • Improved access to SMD knowledge and know-how
  • Increased stakeholder capacity
  • Application of knowledge and know-how in pilot studies
Sustainable development, risk reduction, adaptation, capacity building
2013 – 2018
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC/DEZA)
  • ARCOS (Albertine Rift Conservation Society)
  • CDE (Centre for Development and Environment, University of Berne)
  • CONDESAN (Consortium for the Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecoregion)
  • FDDM (Fondation pour le développement durable des régions de montagne)
  • ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development)
  • UCA (University of Central Asia)
  • UZH (University of Zurich) and WGMS (World Glacier Monitoring Service)
  • Huggel, C., Muccione, V., Carey, M., James, R., Jurt, C., Mechler, R. 2018 Loss and Damage in the mountain cryosphere pdf Regional Environmental Change, doi:10.1007/s10113-018-1385-8
  • Muccione, V., Huggel, C., Salzmann, N., Fiddes, J., Nussbaumer, S., Novikov, V., Hughes, G. 2018 Climate-cryosphere-water nexus: Central Asia outlook pdf Blue Peace Central Asia, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC, University of Zurich, University of Fribourg, Zoï Environment Network.
  • Mal, S., Singh, R.B., Huggel, C. (Eds.) 2018 Climate change, extreme events and disaster risk reduction: towards sustainable development goals Springer, Cham.
  • Stäubli, A., Nussbaumer, S.U., Allen, S.K., Huggel, C., Arguello, M., Costa, F., Hergarten, C., Martínez, R., Soto, J., Vargas, R., Zambrano, E., Zimmermann, M. 2018 Analysis of weather- and climate-related disasters in mountain regions using different disaster databases In: S. Mal, R.B. Singh, C. Huggel (Eds.), Climate change, extreme events and disaster risk reduction: towards sustainable development goals. Springer, Cham, 17–41.
  • Nussbaumer, S.U., Hoelzle, M., Hüsler, F., Huggel, C., Salzmann, N., Zemp, M. 2017 Glacier monitoring and capacity building: important ingredients for sustainable mountain development pdf Mountain Research and Development, 37(1), 141–152