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Tuesday, 18 December 2018 11:26

International Mountain Conference, Innsbruck, 08–12 September 2019


International Mountain Conference, Innsbruck, 08–12 September 2019

Application open (December 3rd 2018 to February 10th 2019 23:59 UTC+1) - join us ☺

Link: Application

About the Conference

The evaluation of responses and resiliencies of mountains as social-ecological systems towards climate change requires the consideration of multiple and mutually interact... [more]

Thematic focus

The conference should stimulate intense crossdisciplinary exchange, create and foster collaborations, force common papers and give birth to a living document on the curre... [more]

Key Dates

Abstract Submission: 03 December 2018 - 10 February 2019 Registration: End of February 2019 - 15 May 2019 Summer school: 01 - 06 September 2019 Conference: 08 - 12 Sep... [more]

The Venue

The conference will be held in Innsbruck, Austria, at facilities of the University of Innsbruck and the Congress Innsbruck. [more]

Workshop 1.3.B: Challenges and potentials of demographic change in Mountain regions

Moderators: Ingrid Machold (Chair), Andrea Membretti

Many mountain regions, particularly in its more peripheral parts, face considerable demographic changes. On the one hand, there are considerable challenges due to a significant outmigration mainly of the younger cohorts, implying a trend towards overageing and a loss of skilled workers in these regions. On the other hand, many mountain regions also record considerable immigration of different groups of people, like amenity migrants or returnees or labour, but also migrants (many of them having come already as ‘guestworkers’ in past decades) and more recently forced migrants (asylum seekers and refugees). While demographic change as such already poses challenges to the social and economic fabric of local areas and puts severe pressure on local development of these mountain regions, in addition to that changes in life styles, increasing flexible working arrangements, persistent gender inequalities (due to the access to resources and distribution of income and workload) lead to social transformation and increasing social and cultural diversity in mountain regions.

This workshop encourages contributions that analyze features of demographic change in mountain regions in all its different characteristics including

  • Trends, patterns and types of demographic change in mountain regions.
  • Explanations of, and theoretical perspectives on demographic change in mountain regions.
  • Analysis of the place-based transformational impact (social, economic, cultural) on different types of mountain regions.
  • Analysis to what extent mountain regions present specific challenges and patterns as well as models for migrant integration.
  • Examples of good practice, particularly with regard to governance and social innovation.

Question 1: How does the loss of population and the approach towards migrant integration in mountain regions differ from the approaches in other regions?

Question 2: Under what conditions (political, social, economic, environmental) are the “newcomers” able to become drivers for local and regional development, social and cultural innovation, community resilience, and lead to a reconsideration of the relationship between urban and rural areas?

Question 3: What is the impact of population flows on changes in the physical space and how do these movements re-shape and transform local geographies?

Workshop 3.4.C: Enhancing transformation of strategies for Mountain regions towards sustainable pathways

Moderators: Thomas Dax (Chair), Thomas Streifeneder

Over the last three decades mountain regions have been increasingly addressed as areas of both socio-economic development concern and spaces of particular human-nature pressure. An increased commitment for appropriate policy frameworks has been established particularly in European mountain ranges (e.g. Alpine Convention and Carpathian Convention) but extends also to non-European contexts (like ICIMOD in the Himalaya, the ANDEAN initiative and the evolving Caucasus network). The tremendous challenges, largely aggravated through on-going socio-economic changes and impacts of climate change, put a severe pressure on the future development of these regions and strategy building in these areas. Increased policy focus on supporting regional mountain development through specific programmes and consideration for foresight studies (e.g. ESPON Alps2050-project) underpins the momentum for trans-regional and trans-national cooperation in mountain development strategy approaches.

This workshop builds on recent policy initiatives and studies analyzing the institutional framework and procedural developments to take account of societal needs and to address the altered policy objectives aiming at sustainable pathways within current situation of climate change requirements. The potential transfer of good practice examples and lessons from recent analysis of programmes’ implementation in various mountain contexts should provide an interesting base for discussion of participants between mountain regions of different parts of the world. This should include analysis of the aspects of transfer of policy implementation aspects between different cultures.

Question 1: What can be learned from different mountain ranges for the implementation of comprehensive integrated policy approaches and how can dialogue between researchers, local people and stakeholders, and politicians be enhanced?

Question 2: How can transfer of useful policy approaches between different mountain ranges be promoted, lessons for transformation be shared and how can pitfalls of “transfer” schemes be avoided?

This workshop connects to themes of multi-level governance, institutional cooperation, social innovation and adaptation to sustainable development goals.

Workshop 1.3.C: Social inclusive development in Mountain regions analyzed along gender, generation and diversity as driver for adaption to structural changes

Moderators: Theresia Oedl-Wieser (Chair), Karin Zbinden Gysin, Catrin Promper

Farming families in mountain regions play an important role regarding the agricultural production and ensuring sustainable livelihoods. Furthermore, they are active in climate change adaption and disaster management as well as in preservation of biodiversity. Due to ongoing societal, ecological and economic challenges, adaptation and innovation of role models is crucial for gender and generational adaptations in farming families, diversification and integration of off-farm jobs and tasks. Despite of their important activities and performances for a sustainable and social inclusive development in mountain regions, the vital roles of women, young as well as retired farmers are often invisible and not appreciated enough in society. There still exist structural discrimination, especially of women, which are caused by patriarchal societies, social and cultural norms as well as difficult economic situations. Mountain regions are gendered spaces, which means that the living conditions, resources, power relations and perspectives for a good livelihood are unequally distributed between men and women. Considering the need to foster the dynamic and sustainable development of mountain regions all over the world it is of paramount importance to reflect and integrate issues, problems and needs of these various rural actors to a larger extent in research, public policy and in worldwide decision-making agendas.

In this workshop contributions are welcome that deal with the different living and working conditions of women and men as well as active and retired generations or other disadvantaged groups in mountain regions and their capacity to shape their economic, social and ecological environment all over the world. The following topics are of relevance:

  • Role models of women and men of different generations as represented in the economic, social and ecological sphere in mountain regions, their challenges and changes,
  • Explanations and theoretical perspectives of the unequal situation of disadvantaged groups in mountain regions,
  • Role of women and men according to their socially attributed roles in climate adaption and disaster management of mountain regions,
  • Analysis to what extent livelihoods in mountain regions face specific societal and socio-economic challenges,
  • Good practice examples, particularly with regard to governance and social innovation.

Question 1: How can the acknowledgement, the appreciation and the understanding of the vital role of actors of different genders and age in mountain regions be strengthened?

Question 2: How can efforts of policy interventions better address the local realities and needs of women and men as well as of other disadvantaged groups in adapting to changing socio-ecological and socio-economic situations?

Question 3: How can different generations on family farms get support for adaptations and renegotiations of roles (tasks, rights and duties) in order to run a farm sustainably?

Question 4: How can gendered power relations in mountain regions be transformed although these processes are inherently political and demanding?

This workshop connects themes of gender and generational issues in relation to agriculture in mountain regions, biodiversity, climate change and disaster management.


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The Regional Science Association International (RSAI), founded in 1954, is an international community of scholars interested in the regional impacts of national or global processes of economic and social change.

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