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

4th October Arrival
5th October


08:30 – 09:00 Registration

09:00 – 09:30 Official Opening and Welcome 

09:30-10:45 Keynote

Coffee Break

11:15- 13:15 Parallel Sessions:

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

Minimizing the emissions of power generators in mountain lodges: a case study in South Tyrol

Evaluation of the emission reduction potential of electrified powertrains for agricultural machines in South Tyrol

Promoting Horticulture for Livelihood Diversification of Vulnerable Population in Fragile Himalayan Region

Shifts in narratives of mountain development: a new concept for shrinking rural regions in Europe

Adaptation at Altitude Taking Action in the Mountains

IAEA Presentation

Special Session: Socio-economic sustainability in mountain regions

Session organized by Institute for Economic Research, Italy

Presentations and discussion

13:15 – 14:30 Lunch

14:30 – 15:45 Keynote – Prof. Dr. Jakob Rhyner  

Coffee Break

16:15 – 17:30 Parallel Sessions:

Workshop A

Mountain Sustainability and Olympic Games: Milano – Cortina 2026

Workshop B

Covid-19 and Sustainability Governance

17:30 Closing of the first day

19.00 – 21.00 Public Event

Expert Council: Open Session on Sustainable Management of Protected Areas

Keynote – Reinhold Messner

Round Table Discussion with Local Stakeholders

6th October


08:30 – 09:45 Keynote – Dr. Dirk Glaesser

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

Climate Resilience of Indigenous Peoples and Natural Resources’ management in the Andes in the post-covid-19 era

Food security using geothermal resource in Ladakh, India

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – A community initiative to restore and manage municipal water provision in the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains (Free State, South Africa)

A novel application of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) in alpine environment to reduce natural hazard risks: the BLUESLEMON project

Russian Altai landscapes as indicators of global and regional environmental change

Forest is our gold: perception of forests and resource use among Hutsuls living in the Ukrainian and Romanian Carpathian Mountains

Thematic Session 3: Tourism and sustainability in mountains

Mountain Resident’s Livelihoods: Adaptation Strategies in the Swiftly Progressing ‘Weather’ of Tourism in Protected Areas

Is Tourism the Beginning or the End? Livelihoods of Georgian Mountain People at Stake

Toward sustainable mountain development in the South Caucasus region: Transformation challenge at the local level

Cultural Sustainability The Example of Traditional Transhumance in South Tyrol

Transdisciplinary approach for facilitating sustainable tourism development in the Caucasus mountain region

Strategic Assessment of Hiking Trail Ecotourism in Armenia

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

12:00 – 13:15 Lunch

13:15 – 14:30 Keynote

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

Mountain hazards risk reduction at UNESCO designated sites

Nature-based Solutions for Landslide Mitigation

The potential contribution of Territorial food projects to sustainable food system governance in mountain regions

Transformation of nature protection institutions in the North Caucasus: from a state monopoly of governance to multi-actor management

Diversity as driver for resilience in the Biosphere Reserve „Salzburger Lungau

Testing innovative technologies in alpine rescue

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

Thematic Session 4: Sustainable governance in mountain regions – B

Participatory approaches: a promising bridge from ecological frameworks to socio-cultural methods for mountain lakes’ sustainable development

Addressing disaster risk, climate change and rapid unplanned urbanization in the Uttarakhand Himalayas through risk governance

Traditional practices as a driven force for the improvement of mountain communities’ wellbeing

The power of Sumak kawsay’s ancestral philosophy (Buen vivir) in the indigenous movements of Colombia – Ecuador in High mountain at 2,800 meters above sea level vs. exclusion by mega mining development, Rights of Mother Nature from the global south

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

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

New technologies to support mountain rescue operations: A case study in the Dolomites GEOPARC Bletterbach, Italy

Coffee Break

17:00 – 18:00 Keynote

18:00 – 18:30 Closing Ceremony 

18:30 End of the Conference

7th October Departure

More information about the conference programme will be uploaded soon.