UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Mountain Development, University of the Highlands and Islands (2009)


Purpose/Objectives of the Chair/UNITWIN Network

Mountains cover 24% of the Earth’s land surface. Twenty six percent of the global population lives in and around mountains, which provide vital goods and services to more than half of humankind. The UNESCO Chair contributes to sustainable mountain development, which concerns both mountain regions and populations living downstream or otherwise dependent on these regions in various ways. A particular focus is on mountain biosphere reserves and their sustainable development in the context of global change.

The Project objectives are, firstly, to facilitate further development and implementation of the Global Change in Mountain Regions (GLOCHAMORE) Research Strategy; secondly, to organise and contribute to international meetings that facilitate understanding of, and action towards, sustainable mountain development, taking global change into consideration, and publish the outcomes; and thirdly, to foster and support the development and delivery of Masters-level courses that support sustainable mountain development. Partners include both global organisations and regional organisations in Asia and Latin America.

Chairholder Professor Martin Price

Address: Centre for Mountain Studies, Webster Building, University of the Highlands and Islands, Crieff Road, Perth, PH1 2NX, UK
Email: martin.price@perth.uhi.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1738 877217

Web page

Professor Martin Price established the Centre for Mountain Studies (CMS) in 2000 at Perth College, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) which gained title in 2011. He has a PhD in Geography from the University of Colorado and was appointed Professor of Mountain Studies by UHI in 2005.

He previously worked at the University of Oxford, and in France, Switzerland, and the USA. He has played key roles in formulating and implementing the mountain chapter of ‘Agenda 21’ and the International Year of Mountains, 2002. He has written and edited 15 books and over 100 reports, papers, and articles on mountain issues. As a Principal Lead Author with the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, he shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former US Vice-President Al Gore.  In 2012, the King Albert I Memorial Foundation awarded him the King Albert Mountain Award: the citation states that “Martin Price, with his exceptional knowledge and his editorial competence, has played a vital role for the mountains of the world”.

He has acted as a consultant on mountain issues to the European Commission, EEA, FAO, IUCN, UNDP, and UNEP; and on the human dimensions of global environmental change for the European Commission, International Social Science Council, US Forest Service, and US National Science Foundation. He has a long association with UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme and, is Vice-Chair of the UK MAB Committee (former Chair), is also a member of the International Coordinating Council of the MAB Programme, having served on the Bureau from 2013 to 2016.  During this period, he led the development of the 10-year strategy and action plan for the MAB Programme.

Selected Publications

  • Price MF (2015) Mountains: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press
  • Price MF, Byers AC, Friend DA, Kohler T, Price LW (eds) 2013. Mountain Geography: Physical and Human Dimensions. University of California Press, Berkeley.
  • Glass J, Price MF, Warren C, Scott A (eds) (2013) Lairds, Land and Sustainability: Scottish perspectives on upland management. University of Edinburgh Press, Edinburgh.
  • Debarbieux B, Price MF, Balsiger J (2013) The institutionalization of mountain regions in Europe. Regional Studies:
  • Björnsen Gurung A, Wymann von Dach S, Price MF, Aspinall R, Balsiger J, Baron J, Sharma E, Greenwood G, Kohler T (2012) Global change and the world’s mountains: Research needs and emerging themes for sustainable development” (with).  Mountain Research and Development 32(supplement).
  • Price MF, Park JJ, Bouamrane, M (2010) Reporting Progress on Internationally-designated Sites: The Periodic Review of Biosphere Reserves. Environmental Science and Policy 13: 549-557.