Mountains are important for Europe. The Strategic Research Agenda "Mountains for Europe's Future" explains their significance for energy and food production, climate action and transport. It makes the case for including more mountain research topics in the major European research funding programmes such as Horizon 2020.
„Mountains for Europe’s Future” aims to raise awareness of the many contributions that mountains make, and can make, to life in the lowlands. Also it communicates the growing pressures on mountain regions. This calls for interdisciplinary research in mountains to countribute positively to addressing Horizon 2020 priorities, as well as to wider EU policy goals.
8 reasons why mountains are important at the European Scale:
- 1)Mountain ranges cover 36% of Europe's area and cross many national borders
- 2)Mountains are part of Europe's cultural heritage: they have evolved interactions between people and ecosytems through centuries
- 3)Mountains are water towers
- 4)Europe's mountains are centres of biodiversity
- 5)People need mountains, and mountains need people: Land abandonment is one symptom the negative trend in socioeconomic conditions
- 6)Mountains are sentinels of economic, demorgaphic and land use changes
- 7)Mountain economies are diverse and provide resources for the economies of wider regions
- 8)Mountains have the potential to be viable, vibrand places to live and work
Within the strategic framework of Horizon 2020 in the 2018 – 2020 calls to deliver excellent science for Europe, there should be increased attention to mountains, bringing benefits both to the continent’s diverse mountain areas and to Europe as a whole.
Source: Drexler, C., V. Braun, D. Christie, B. Claramunt, T. Dax, I. Jelen, R. Kanka, N. Katsoulakos, G. Le Roux, M. Price, T. Scheurer & R. Weingartner (2016): Mountains for Europe‘s Future – A strategic research agenda.