State of the World's Mountains: A Global Report

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Mountains are one of the victims of environmental degradation. But they have been ignored by politicians and policy makers in spite of mounting evidence that their fragile ecosystems are already in a state of crisis. In this book, for the first time, leading development and environmental authorities brought together by Mountain Agenda assess the state of the world's mountain heritage. Their global audit runs from China to Peru, from the Polish Tatra and the Scottish Highlands to the Alps and the great mountain ...
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Overview

Mountains are one of the victims of environmental degradation. But they have been ignored by politicians and policy makers in spite of mounting evidence that their fragile ecosystems are already in a state of crisis. In this book, for the first time, leading development and environmental authorities brought together by Mountain Agenda assess the state of the world's mountain heritage. Their global audit runs from China to Peru, from the Polish Tatra and the Scottish Highlands to the Alps and the great mountain chains of Asia, Africa and the Americas, as well as many lesser known ranges in the former Soviet Union, Japan, the Caribbean and elsewhere. Among the issues highlighted are the problems and potential of mountain economies; the importance of mountains as a vertical archipelago of refuge for biodiversity; the likely impact of global warming; the commercial forces threatening upland forests and water resources; the impact of mass tourism; and the pressures on mountain farmers from plainsmen and city dwellers colonising marginal uplands. This unique book is an essential element in a campaign to alert the public. Mountains matter not just to the 500 million people who live there, but to all of us. Wide public support and understanding are vital for positive action for sustainable development in the mountains. The State of the World's Mountains will be of special interest to all those--including geographers, development planners, mountaineers and environmentalists--who are concerned to make modern developments compatible with the conservation of an environment displaying Nature at its most inspiring and grand.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781856491150
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/1992
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 12.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Preface
Foreword by the President of the Swiss Confederation
Foreword by the Rector of the United Nations University
1 Overview and Appeal: sustainable development in mountain areas 1
An urgent and practical possibility 3
2 African Mountain and Highland Environments: suitability and susceptibility 11
African mountains and highlands: a synthesis 13
Survival in the highlands and mountains of Ethiopia 16
The changing use of mountain resources in Morocco 22
Mountain and highland preservation for development in Kenya 25
Mountains as vital factors in regional development in southern Africa 29
The threatened biodiversity of the mountains of Madagascar 34
The attraction of mountains as a cause of environmental problems in Uganda 39
3 The Alps: an ecosystem in transformation 45
Introduction 47
Mountain ecology and environment 51
The potential of natural resources 57
The Alpine people 61
Land use and sustainable development 66
The industrial age--breakdown of the traditional Alpine world 72
The use of Alpine resources in the age of the service economy 74
Economically weak Alpine regions 83
Ensuring a viable economic future and satisfactory quality of life in the Alps 87
4 The Himalaya: prospects for and constraints on sustainable development 93
Introduction 95
Mountain building, climatic influences and natural resources 103
Environmental constraints on natural resource use 109
The people-environment-development relationship 114
5 Mountains North and South 127
Introduction 129
Mountains of the eastern Canadian Arctic 131
Grenada, West Indies 133
Hawaii--Big Island, USA 135
Hengduan Mountains--Naxi, PRC 140
Mountains of Iceland 145
Tateyama, Japanese Alps 148
Northern Thailand 152
Papua New Guinea highlands 156
The Polish Tatra 161
The Pyrenees 165
Sierra Nevada, USA 169
The Scottish Highlands 176
6 The Andes: geoecology of the Andes 185
Introduction 187
The Andean region 188
Geoecology of the region 193
Subregional ecology 209
Human populations in the Andes 223
Stress and adaptation to high altitude 229
Human biology at high altitude 234
Continued settlement in the Andes 245
7 Mountains of the Former Soviet Union: value, diversity, uncertainty 257
Preamble 259
Introduction 261
The Pamir and its setting 267
Scenario for the development of the mountain regions 291
8 The Appalachians of North America: marginal in the midst of plenty 299
Introduction 301
Questions raised in the global context 305
Physical and cultural profile of the Appalachian Mountains 307
Natural resources, land use, and mountain development in the Appalachians 326
9 Mountain Protected Areas 353
10 Climate Change in the Mountains 359
Introduction 361
Past climate 366
Future climate 371
Status of knowledge and recommendations 374
About the Contributors 381
About Mountain Agenda 382
Index 383
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