During the 30th International Geographical Congress in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, the General Assembly of the International Geographical Union (IGU) confirmed the Diversity in Mountain Systems Commission. Members are encouraged to conduct mountain research, inform other members about their work, and participate in the Commission's activities and meetings. The Commission also publishes an e-mail newsletter featuring news on achievements in mountain geography. For further information on this IGU Commission and possible membership, please contact the author of this article. We also suggest contact with the Mountain Forum.
30th International Geographical Congress in Glasgow, Scotland, 15–20 August 2004
The main Congress theme, “One Earth, Many Worlds,” offered a framework for an exciting and wonderfully diverse academic program. Particular sections of the program were devoted to sessions organized by the IGU Commissions. The Congress also incorporated the 2004 Annual International Conference of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers), a Joint International Geomorphology Conference on “Geomorphology and Sustainability,” as well as meetings of the International Cartographic Association, the British Cartographic Society, and the Association of Geographic Information. A choice of academic excursions before, during, and after the Congress offered the opportunity to extend academic discussion. Further variety was added to the Congress through a rich program of one-day academic excursions and a social program, as well as an International School Poster Competition involving pupils from over 26 countries.
The Diversity in Mountain Systems Commission organized 6 sessions and a business meeting covering one day of intense exchange of research results, fruitful discussions, and development of visions for the coming years. The program included sessions on biotic and natural landscape diversity, climate and water in mountain environments, sustainable development in mountain areas, political and societal diversity in mountain systems, mountains in the post-Soviet transition process, and regional case studies in Asia.
During the Commission's business meeting, Professor emeritus Bruno Messerli (Geographical Institute, University of Berne, Switzerland) was elected an Honorary Member of the Diversity in Mountain Systems Commission. He joins Professor emeritus Jack Ives (MRD Founding Editor) as an Honorary Member of the Commission. Both scholars have played a prominent role in international mountain science, and both have acted as chairpersons of the IGU Mountain Commission for decades, promoting research networks and projects such as the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme. They made significant contributions to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, and in 1997 edited a summary monograph on global mountain issues that became the scientific foundation for the International Year of Mountains 2002. In 2002, Bruno Messerli was awarded the Founder's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, and in 2003 he was elected a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Other news and events
Professor Lawrence Hamilton, Senior Adviser of IUCN–The World Conservation Union, was honored by receiving the King Albert I Gold Medal Award. The awards ceremony took place in Pontresina, Switzerland, on 11 September 2004. The IGU Commission congratulates Professor Hamilton!
Professor Fausto Sarmiento, member of the Commission's Steering Committee between 2000 and 2004, reports that he became the Vice Chair for Mountains, Capacity Building, for the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) of IUCN–The World Conservation Union. The Commission's four-year planning includes 3 international conferences on management of mountain protected areas: Conservation Corridors (Ecuador 2006), Trans-boundary Conservation (Nepal 2007), and Ecotourism (China 2008).
The Global Observation Research Initiative for Alpine Environments (GLORIA) has established new monitoring sites in different mountain regions during the past year: Kosciuszko National Park in Australia's Snowy Mountains, as well as 2 sites in North America and the first German site in the Northern Alps. New target regions will be established in some UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Chile, Peru, and the Russian Altai Mountains. For more information about this project please visit http://www.gloria.ac.at/res/gloria_home/