UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Mountain Development, University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI)

The UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Mountain Development, Professor Martin Price, has been renewed for the second time, until February 2021, with revised objectives. Under the first objective – to contribute to the implementation of the Lima Action Plan through the development and implementation of activities that contribute to sustainable mountain development, especially in biosphere reserves – the main activity is the ‘Sustainable Heritage Areas: Partnerships for Ecotourism’ (SHAPE) project. This is funded by the EU’s Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme for three years (2017-20), with a budget of €1.5 million, and is led by the Chair.

The second objective is to organize and contribute to international meetings that facilitate understanding of, and action towards, sustainable mountain development, taking into account the effects of global change; and to publish the outcomes. In this context, Professor Martin Price, the Chairholder, is working towards the successful delivery of the Mountains 2018 (Nova Friburgo, Brazil, December 2018) – as chair of the Scientific Committee and keynote speaker – and the International Mountain Conference 2019 (University of Innsbruck, Austria, September 2019), which will follow on from previous conferences organised by the Chair. He will also be a keynote speaker at the ‘Thinking mountains’ interdisciplinary summit in Banff, Canada, in October, and is involved in an advisory capacity with a number of institutions with a mountain focus in Portugal and South Africa.

The third objective is to foster and support the development and delivery of Masters-level courses that support sustainable mountain development. The primary activity is the continued delivery of the online MSc Sustainable Mountain Development at the UHI, which will this year welcome about 15 new students, including the first from Asia and another working towards a biosphere reserve in Lesotho: the first from Africa, on a scholarship funded by the Chair.

The activity report for 2017-2018 is available here.