Exploring Transdisciplinary Approaches to Sustainability Within and Beyond the Mountains

Authors: Julia Klein*, Colorado State University, Cara Steger, Colorado State University, Robin Reid, Colorado State University, Karim-Aly Kassam, Cornell University, Sandra Lavorel, CNRS
Topics: Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Sustainability Science, Mountain Environments
Keywords: Transdisciplinary, mountains, synthesis, participatory, sustainability
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Stones Throw 1 - Granite, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Transdisciplinary approaches bring together inter-disciplinary academics, stakeholders and practitioners to address complex problems and to identify future pathways to sustainability. Mountain social-ecological systems are widespread worldwide and their resources are vital to much of humanity – yet, they face particular challenges to their sustainability. We present these threats as paradoxes, or apparent contradictions, that stem from the unique combination of mountain environmental and societal characteristics. Participatory approaches have been proposed as an potentially effective way to address some of the challenges facing mountains. We explore different participatory approaches to address mountain futures and present results from a global survey of researchers and stakeholders - within and beyond the mountains – all of whom have engaged in transdisciplinary research and practice. The survey was developed by a group of researchers and stakeholders and was administered in four languages (English, Spanish, Chinese and French) with the aim of understanding the most important activities and the most significant barriers to success common across transdisciplinary projects worldwide. We will highlight facilitating factors and barriers to transdisciplinary work that are most common in mountains as well as those that are shared across a range of biomes and human experiences.

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