Ongoing Projects

The World Terrestrial Ecosystems (WTE) map recently produced by Sayre et al. (2020) offers a unique spatial representation of terrestrial ecosystems. However, several important questions remain open that may influence its use.

This project, which is led by Eurac Research, Italy, and is funded by Microsoft, aims to exploit the power of cloud computing, sophisticated data-driven algorithms, and recent high-resolution satellite imagery to both evaluate and improve (e.g., via downscaling) the WTE map in mountainous areas.

As with climate-related variables, effective monitoring of biodiversity in mountainous areas must consider the unique nature of such environments. 

A workshop brought several experts together to identify the processes responsible for ecological change in mountains, and therefore, which variables should be measured and reported to provide reliable information on biodiversity change to stakeholders, including policy-makers at local to global levels.

Little consensus currently exists regarding which variables should be considered absolute observation priorities for monitoring and understanding the drivers, responses, and impacts of ongoing climate-driven change in global mountains.

To address this, in this project, a group of interdisciplinary mountain scientists built upon a workshop convened by GEO Mountains in June 2019 to rank numerous potentially relevant variables according to their perceived importance.

This project, led by the University of Geneva, seeks to map the coverage of national environmental treaties and their associated changes through time. 

In this way, it should be possible to visualise the protections afforded to – and governance agreements operating in – mountain regions, as well as aspects in which they are lacking, in a spatially explicit fashion. 

A need has been identified to quantify the count and density of human populations living in mountainous areas in a transparent and reproducible fashion.

This project, which involves numerous partners, seeks to address this information gap.

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