Thematic sessions

Major thematic sessions of the GMS Forum are:

Global developments and critical issues in sustainability in mountain regions
Natural resources and sustainability in mountains
Tourism and sustainability in mountains
Sustainable governance in mountain regions – potential and limitations of possible solutions
Global developments and critical issues in sustainability in mountain regions
  • Overtourism
  • Climate change
  • Demographic change
  • Energy transition
Natural resources and sustainability in mountains
  • Integrated catchment management
  • Climate resilience
  • Supply and demand issues between highlands and lowlands
Tourism and sustainability in mountains
  • Monitoring tourism activities
  • Assessing developments in tourism against sustainability objectives
  • Societal transformation processes related to tourism
  • Cultural sustainability
Sustainable governance in mountain regions – potential and limitations of possible solutions
  • Successful management of natural resources within the context of competing users
  • Disaster risk reduction within the context of changing climate conditions and increasing touristic activities
  • Sustainable management of natural resources – protected areas (WHS, Geoparks, UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, UNESCO Global Geopark Network (GGN))
  • Local community space versus destination space? The role of participation: instruments and methods for local empowerment

Conference Programme

Global Mountain Sustainability Forum 2020

Sustainability Governance: International Frameworks and Local Contributions


Sunday, 4th October Arrival
Monday, 5th October


08:30 – 09:00 Registration

09:00 – 09:30 Official Opening and Welcome 

Harald Pechlaner, Stefan Schneiderbauer – Eurac Research and United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) 

Xiaomeng Shen – United Nations University (UNU) Vice Rector in Europe 

Waltraud Watschinger – Tourism Board Sexten 

Christoph Rainer Sextenkultur 

09:30-10:45 Keynote Prof. Julia A. Klein: Threats to Mountains Worldwide and How Science with Society can help Transform Mountain Futures

Coffee Break

11:15- 13:15 Parallel Sessions:

Thematic Session 1: Global developments and critical issues in sustainability in mountain regions

Shifts in narratives of mountain development: a new concept for shrinking rural regions in Europe – Dax Thomas, Bauchinger Lisa, Machold Ingrid

Minimizing the emissions of power generators in mountain lodges: a case study in South Tyrol – Alberizzi Jacopo, Renzi Massimiliano

Promoting Horticulture for Livelihood Diversification of Vulnerable Population in Fragile Himalayan Region – Rawat Pragati, Aggarwal Ridhika, Nagabhatla Nidhi

Evaluation of the emission reduction potential of electrified powertrains for agricultural machines in South Tyrol – Perez Estevez, Manuel Antonio, Renzi Massimiliano

Using nuclear and isotopic techniques for adaptation to climate change impacts on soil and water resources in mountainous regions – Edson Ramirez, Yanhong Wu, Christoph Henrich, Gerd Dercon
Adaptation at Altitude: Taking Action in the MountainsOtto Simonett, Carolina Adler, Luis Daniel Llambi, Phillippus Wester, Matthias Jurek, Sabine McCallum, Ansgar Fellendorf

Special Session: Socio-economic sustainability in mountain regions

Session organized by Institute for Economic Research, Italy

Moderation: Urban Perkmann, Georg Lun

South Tyrol: A brief portrait of a multilingual, autonomous border region – Frötscher Denise

Socio-economic sustainability: are there differences at a local level? – Oberrauch Klaus

The multiple facets of innovation in South Tyrol – Schatzer Thomas

Shortage of skilled workers and brain drain: A challenge for South Tyrol – Overhage Nina

Digitalization: how well prepared are enterprises and society? – Campregher Philipp

13:15 – 14:30 Networking Lunch

14:30 – 15:45 Keynote – Prof. Dr. Jakob Rhyner: Dealing with risks in the mountains. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow?

Coffee Break

16:15 – 17:30 Parallel Sessions:

Workshop A

Mountain Sustainability and Olympic Games: Milano – Cortina 2026

Input: Prof. Mara Manente (CISET)

Workshop B

Covid-19 and Sustainability Governance

Input: Joerg Szarzynski, co-head of GLOMOS

17:30 Closing of the first day

Networking Cocktail

19.00 – 21.00 Public Event

Expert Council: Open Session on Sustainable Management of Protected Areas

Keynote Reinhold Messner: Sustainability in mountain areas 

Round Table Discussion with Local Stakeholders: Challenges of sustainable development in mountain areas: governance, mobility and major events

Tuesday, 6th October


08:30 – 09:45 Keynote – Dr. Dirk Glaesser: Insights into the worldwide debate on sustainable tourism: learnings for mountain regions

Coffee Break

10:15 – 12:00 Parallel Sessions:

Thematic Session 2: Natural resources and sustainability in mountains

Integrating climate information into local development planning A case from Central Asia Schumacher Paul

Climate Resilience of Indigenous Peoples and Natural Resources’ management in the Andes in the post-covid-19 era – Tomaselli Alessandra, Sofia Panchi-Robles 

A novel application of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) in alpine environment to reduce natural hazard risks: the BLUESLEMON project – Monsorno Roberto, Kofler Christian, Steger Stefan, Giannotta Giovanni, Vilardi Andrea, Scarton Gabriele, Bojeri Alex, Mai Erika, Ristorto Gianluca, Guglieri Giorgio, Seppi Stefano, Mayrgündter Sebastian, Allasia Giorgio, Quagliotti Fulvia

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: a community initiative to restore and manage municipal water provision in the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains – Delves Jess L.

Russian Altai landscapes as indicators of global and regional environmental changeChernykh Dmitry, Pershin Dmitry, Malygina Natalia, Zolotov Dmitry, Mitrofanova      Elena, Kuryatnikova Natalia, Biryukov Roman, Lubenets Lilia, Bykov Nikolay, Zinovieva Alina, Lapina Christina, Dyachenko Alexander

Forest is our gold: perception of forests and resource use among Hutsuls living in the Ukrainian and Romanian Carpathian Mountains – Mattalia Giulia, Sõukand Renata,Stryamets Nataliya, Reyes-Garcia Victoria, Molnár Gábor, Gliga Adrian, Balázsi Ágnes, Pieroni Andrea 

Thematic Session 3: Tourism and sustainability in mountains

Mountain Resident’s Livelihoods: Adaptation Strategies in the Swiftly Progressing ‘Weather’ of Tourism in Protected AreasGugushvili Temur, Salukvadze Joseph, Durglishvili Nino

Cultural Sustainability The Example of Traditional Transhumance in South Tyrol – Erschbamer Greta, de Rachewiltz Michael

Is Tourism the Beginning or the End? Livelihoods of Georgian Mountain People at StakeSalukvadze Gvantsa, Backhaus Norma

Strategic Assessment of Hiking Trail Ecotourism in ArmeniaAlvarado Oscar

Practical example of the sustainability concept of the Carezza Dolomites “Mountain Experience”: How an alpine cableway company intends to increase awareness throughout an entire touristic region for the topics of sustainability and climate protection – Eisath Florian

12:00 – 13:15 Lunch

13:15 – 14:30 Keynote – Musonda Mumba: Sustainability challenges of tourism in mountains of the global South (tbc)


14:30 – 16:30 Parallel Sessions:

Thematic Session 4: Sustainable governance in mountain regions – A

SDGs for widening the scope of local climate change adaptation analytics: methodological development and first applications in mountain regions – Cetara Luca, La Malva Pasquale, Pregnolato Marco

Nature-based Solutions for Landslide Mitigation – Esperancinha Sérgio, Pavlova Irina, Amirzada Zahra, Santillan Giovana, Rutzinger Martin, Zieher Thomas, Polderman Annemari

Exploiting and preserving the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains. How an ecosystems services approach could contribute to sustainable development in southern Africa – Membretti Andrea

Transformation of nature protection institutions in the North Caucasus: from a state monopoly of governance to multi-actor management – Gunya Alexey, Lysenko Alexey, Gagaeva Zulfira, Lysenko Izolda, Atayev Zagir

Mountain hazards risk reduction at UNESCO designated sitesPavlova Irina, Yasukawa Soichiro, Dousseron Aurelien, Jomelli Vincent, Esperancinha Sérgio, Amirzada Zahra, Santillan Giovana

Diversity as driver for resilience in the Biosphere Reserve “Salzburger Lungau” Oedl-Wieser Theresia, Dax Thomas, Machold Ingrid

Thematic Session 4: Sustainable governance in mountain regions – B

The linkage between sustainable development, cooperation and sustainability measures in the agricultural sector – Sustainability in nature-protected areas: the necessity of stakeholder cooperation focusing on farmers – Turck Angela, Fuchshofen Nicolas, Terlau Wiltrud

Participatory approaches: a promising bridge from ecological frameworks to socio-cultural methods for mountain lakes’ sustainable development – Ebner Manuel, Tappeiner Ulrike, Fontana Veronika, Schirpke Uta, Kurmayer Rainer 

Decision tools for adaptation to climate change: Portfolio analysis of tea plantation investments in Rwanda – Fraschini Filippo

Testing innovative technologies in alpine rescue – Strapazzon Giacomo, Mejia-Aguilar Abraham, van Veelen Michiel

New technologies to support mountain rescue operations: A case study in the Dolomites GEOPARC Bletterbach, ItalyMejia-Aguilar  Abraham, Strapazzon Giacomo, Seppi Stefano, Mayrgündter Sebastian, Vögele Anna, van Veelen Michiel, Bianco Giulio Maria, Weber  Christian, Daldos Peter, Vianello Andrea, Tritini Simon

Coffee Break

17:00 – 18:00 Keynote – Prof. Joseph Stiglitz: How to build a better and greener world economy after the pandemic

18:00 – 18:30 Closing Ceremony 

18:30 End of the Conference

Wednesday, 7th October Departure