Links to related websites

Global initiatives

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) The Convention is one of the key agreements adopted at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and offers every nation a binding legal document to assist in the conservation and sustainable use of its biodiversity. GMBA became the official major scientific partner of the CBD for the main theme "Mountain Biodiversity" of the 7th Conference of the Parties, held in February 2004 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Catalogue of Life The Catalogue of Life is the most comprehensive and authoritative global index of species currently available. It consists of a single integrated species checklist and taxonomic hierarchy. The Catalogue holds essential information on the names, relationships and distributions of over 1.5 million species. This figure continues to rise as information is compiled from diverse sources around the world.

CODATA The Committee on Data for Science and Technology, is an interdisciplinary Scientific Committee of the International Council for Science (ICSU). It works to improve the quality, reliability, management and accessibility of data of importance to all fields of science and technology.

GBIF The Global Biodiversity Information Facility is an international non-profit organisation to provide free and universal access to data regarding the world's biodiversity. A wide range of countries and organisations participate in GBIF and have made their data available there.

GLORIA The "Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments" in Vienna is a global network aiming to assess impacts of climate change on high mountain biota. GLORIA has established a site-based network, currently in 121 target regions and distributed over 5 continents. Monitoring is carried out with a standardized protocol targeting on vascular plants as well as on bryophytes and lichens (on an optional basis).

Millenium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) was an international work programme, active from 2001-2005, designed to meet the needs of decision makers and the public for scientific information concerning the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being and options for responding to those changes. GMBA significantly contributed to the chapter on mountains.

MIREN As a result of global change, mountain areas are increasingly threatened by invasive alien species. The Mountain Invasion Research Network aims at assessing this problem. A promising new research approach is the use of altitudinal gradients in mountains in order to better understand plant invasion processes along environmental gradients. Mountain regions provide particularly useful model systems for understanding ecological and evolutionary processes associated with plant invasions. MIREN conducts screening surveys and monitoring as well as standardized comparative experiments in 11 core mountain regions all over the world.

Mountain Forum is a global network of individuals and organisations concerned with the well being of mountain people, their environments and cultures. Mountain Forum seeks to bring lessons and experiences of mountain people into policy discussions at national and international levels with the aim to improve their livelihood and promote the conservation of mountain environments and cultures.

MRI The Mountain Research Initiative promotes and coordinates global change research in mountain regions all over the world.
The Initiative's vision is a global change scientific program that detects signals of global environmental change in mountain environments, defines the consequences of global environmental change for mountain regions as well as lowland systems dependent on mountain resources, and informs sustainable land, water, and resource management for mountain regions at local to regional scales.

Regional initiatives

ICIMOD (Hindu Kush Himalayas) The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development is committed to improving livelihoods of mountain people in the Hindu-Kush Himalayan region. ICIMOD coordinates mountain research and development projects in the eight countries of the Hindu-Kush Himalayan Region.

INBio The National Biodiversity Institute is a non-governmental organisation in Costa Rica. It gathers data on the country’s biological diversity, advocates its sustainable use and promotes awareness of the value of biodiversity.

Swiss Biodiversity Forum of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) is the competence center for biodiversity research in Switzerland. The Forum's objective is to substantially contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. To reach this objective the Biodiversity Forum advocates biodiversity research in Switzerland and makes available up-to-date knowledge on biological diversity to conservation practitioners, policy makers, teachers and the public.

ICAS The Interacademic Commission for Alpine Studies initiates and promotes interdisciplinary and international, national and regional collaboration in the field of alpine research. The website is either in german or french.


Mountain Research and Development publishes peer-reviewed articles presenting original research on mountain environments and people, sustainable mountain development, and mountain development experiences. Coverage ranges widely, from topics in the natural sciences to anthropological, economic and sociocultural issues. Target audiences are the scientific community and policy- and decision-makers. MRD is an open access journal published by the International Mountain Society (IMS).