This issue of Mountain Research and Development (MRD) has no dedicated theme. Rather, we present here a selection of peer-reviewed development and research articles having a focus that ranges from the well-known Himalaya to marginal mountainous areas of Turkey, covering themes of vital relevance to the populations of these remote areas, and, in some cases, making well-founded evidence-based suggestions for decision- and policy-makers. In the peer-reviewed MountainDevelopment section, Markus Zimmermann and Shireen Issa discuss risk-conscious reconstruction following the disastrous 2005 earthquake in the remote Chakhama Valley in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, while Rabindra Roy, Dietrich Schmidt-Vogt, and Olav Myrholt survey community-based efforts to improve food security in northwestern Nepal, and Alessandra Giuliani, Alptekin Karagöz, and Nusret Zencirci examine the market potential of an age-old but rather forgotten cereal, emmer, in Kastamonu and Sinop provinces of Turkey.
The MountainResearch section contains papers from two countries rarely featured in MRD: Bhutan, where Mani Ram Moktan, Lungten Norbu, Kencho Dukpa, Tek Bahadur Rai, Rinchen Dorji, Kunzang Dhendup, and Norbu Gyaltshen examine the availability and role of nonwood forest products in central Bhutan; and Benin, where Hermane Tonakpon Avohou and Brice Sinsin deal with the effects of topography and aspect on the biomass production of grasslands in the Atacora Mountain range. Chandrika Varadachari, Susmita Saha, Siladitya Bandyopadhyay, and Kunal Ghosh report on field trials with newly patented biorelease fertilizers for crop production in the Kumaon and Garhwal Himalaya. Finally, Jan Nyssen, Katrien Descheemaeker, Amanuel Zenebe, Jean Poesen, Jozef Deckers, and Mitiku Haile discuss adaptations in the practice of transhumance in the Tigray Highlands of Ethiopia, while Moges Awdenegest and Nicholas M. Holden show how land-cover change is linked to the formation of gullies in the food-insecure Umbulo catchment in Ethiopia's highlands.
We would like to call the attention of all MRD readers to our new online Article Mapper feature, which was specially developed for MRD based on Google Map. The Article Mapper permits a global overview of MRD research papers, along with information on the location, scale, and subjects of all research articles published from 1991 to 2008. We also plan to include articles from the Development section in the database. It is now possible to see the topics and mountain locations that have been covered to date in MRD, and spot where research gaps exist and could usefully be covered by future papers. Of course, all MRD articles back to 2000 can now also be downloaded via the Article Mapper, since they are all open access. Articles prior to 2000 are available via JSTOR. Please visit www.mrd-journal.org/map to examine this new feature!
Finally, the MRD editorial staff is proud to announce the recent awarding to Hans Hurni, our Editor-in-Chief, of an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Agriculture from Haramaya University, Ethiopia, on 11 July 2009. This is only the second time in over 50 years that the degree has been awarded to a foreigner. The Haramaya University guidelines for this award stipulate that it is to “pay tribute to the individuals for their outstanding achievements as well as to identify individuals that can serve as role models for students, faculty, alumni of Haramaya University, and all the citizens of the nation to respect and emulate.” We are sure that everyone familiar with Hans's long years of dedicated research and work in Ethiopia will agree that this award is well deserved. Also, we would like to take this occasion to convey a public expression of our own respect for all that Hans has achieved and congratulate him heartily on this special honor!
Just as this issue was going to press, we learned that Andreas Brodbeck, the very talented cartographer who created or improved many maps in past MRD issues, has sadly passed away after a long illness. The words of a reader asking for permission to use a map are an appropriate tribute to his work: “Andreas hello– I am an American professor doing conservation research in Yunnan and saw your wonderful maps in the current issue of Mountain Research and Development. They are the best maps of Yunnan that I have seen.” We will greatly miss Andreas and are most thankful for his highly appreciated contribution to MRD.