Community-based responses for tackling environmental and socio-economic change and impacts in mountain social–ecological systems


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Mountain social–ecological systems (SES) are often rich in biological and cultural diversity with sustained human–nature interactions. Many mountain SES are experiencing rapid environmental and socio-economic change, demanding viable action for conservation to sustain ecosystem services for the benefit of their communities. This paper is a synthesis of 71 case studies of mountain-specific SES, submitted to the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI) that identifies major drivers of change, associated impacts, and response strategies. We find that overexploitation, land use change, demographic change, and the regional economy are the most prevalent drivers of change in the IPSI mountain SES, leading to negative consequences for biodiversity, livelihoods, indigenous knowledge, and culture. To counter these challenges in the study SES, stakeholders from the public, private, and civil society sectors have been implementing diverse legal, behavioral, cognitive, technological, and economic response strategies, often with strong community participation. We outline the lessons learned from the IPSI case studies to show how community-based approaches can contribute meaningfully to the sustainable management of mountain landscapes.
Biodiversity conservation, Community engagement, Social–ecological systems, Sustainability, Traditional and local knowledge (TLK)
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