MOVING new results: Sustainability and resilience challenges of mountain regions in Europe

Jun 6, 2023

Authors:  Lukas Zagata, Diana Surova, Jakub Husak, Tomas Uhnak (CZU)

MOVING Regional MAPs have developed a comprehensive vulnerability and resilience performance assessment of the 23 Reference Region value chains. The results of the assessment underline the urgent threats that European mountain regions are facing. Based on participatory workshops with stakeholders, the study identifies drought as the most pressing threat in mountain areas, followed by socio-economic threats such as changes in incentives and subsidies, energy prices, and demographic changes.

Moreover, the report emphasises the vulnerability of mountain regions, particularly in relation to socio-economic threats, where local actors are less confident in their ability to develop adaptation strategies. While environmental threats, such as drought, extreme weather events, and air temperature changes, are perceived as urgent, most regions are aware of adaptation strategies and have developed innovative agricultural practices and specific management practices to cope with these threats.

The report suggests that selective threats, such as wildfires, which may not be an omnipresent issue in most of the reference regions, should receive specific attention. It also notes that the presence of threats does not necessarily imply highly vulnerable regions and value chains. A threat should be viewed as a factor that potentially contributes to increased vulnerability if a system is not capable of adapting to changes.

Overall, the report highlights the need for mountain regions to develop adaptation strategies that rely on their own practices, local knowledge, farm resources, or new technologies. It also stresses the need for collaboration among actors within a single value chain or across multiple value chains to develop strategies that require mobilisation of resources that are not directly under their control.

As mountain regions continue to face multiple challenges, it is crucial that stakeholders work together to develop adaptation strategies that can help these regions become more resilient in the face of environmental, socio-economic, institutional, and political threats. By doing so, these regions can better protect their natural resources, maintain their rural communities, and ensure the continued success of their value chains.

The final report D4.5 will be available soon on the project website. But you can learn more about the vulnerability and resilience of the 23 MOVING Reference Regions in a more dynamic way by checking out the MOVING Digital Stories!