Setting the scene for MOVING

by | Jun 17, 2021 | MOVING

An interview with Mar Delgado from University of Cordoba and coordinator of the MOVING project will help you navigate the first steps of the project and what it intends to do.

What is MOVING and who can benefit from it?

MOVING (MOuntain Valorisation through INterconnectedness and Green growth) is a Horizon 2020 project that started in September 2020 and will last until the end of August 2024. It is a research and innovation action coordinated by us, the University of Córdoba (Spain), and it gathers 23 partner organisations

The project selected 23 mountain Reference Regions in 16 countries, which represent the wide diversity of mountain areas in Europe. In these regions, the project will roll-out its research activities and actions engaging relevant stakeholders through 24 Multi-Actor Platforms (MAPs).

The project is building a Community of Practice (CoP) on Mountain Value Chains (VCs), based on Multi-actor Platforms (MAPs) that gather stakeholders, policy-makers and researchers, and involve them in the co-design and validation of all research outputs. The MOVING CoP is built upon:

What is the objective of the project?

The project aims to build capacities and co-develop sound evidence-base to support the policy frameworks that address mountain areas’ needs across Europe. It will analyse the existing value chains and identify new or upscaled ones that contribute to the resilience and sustainability of mountain areas, valorising local assets, and delivering private and public goods.

Building capacities of mountain regions and stakeholders to enhance resilience to climate change.

Identifying the socioecological factors that will shape the future of mountain value chains by 2050.

Supporting policy design that enhances the resilience of mountain regions through new or upgraded value chains.

Setting up a European community of stakeholders to foster the exchange of knowledge and experiences.

MOVING’s objectives

Where does the idea of MOVING come from?

The University of Córdoba comes with the experience of working in remote rural areas for many years. Spain, and also the region of Andalusia, hosts a good number of mountainous areas, and these territories face important difficulties.

In MOVING, we linked our interest and understanding in rural areas with our expertise in policy analysis. Together with the other Consortium members, we devised this project in response to the growing importance of conceptualising, and strategically designing, the new policies for the future of mountain areas. We thought that a project such as MOVING could contribute to this need, and would give a voice to these remote territories.

I previously coordinated one FP7 project, and currently I coordinate two H2020 projects. Coordinating and participating in such exciting projects offers great opportunities to work in cutting-edge research with partners from across Europe and beyond, and also to provide high-level work opportunities to (young) researchers.

What are the big challenges that mountain areas are facing?

Mountains cover 36% of European areas and play an essential role in the well-being of many highly populated European regions.

However, there are several major challenges for these areas. For instance, climate change; land use changes; depopulation; outmigration of young people due to lack of opportunities and services; the increasing pressures on natural resources caused by the emergence of new uses (e.g. energy, tourism) that interfere with traditional uses.

Further to this, neither the public nor the private goods provided by mountains are sufficiently valued and remunerated, and these territories are not well represented in policies.

What are the key research activities of the MOVING project?

Mountain areas have been analysed at different levels, but there is a lack of information on how different threats will affect them at the micro-level. Thus, there is still a long way to go for the availability of data at the local scale, which would also allow the design of future scenarios and foresight analysis.

MOVING has already screened more than 400 traditional, emerging and innovative value chains in the European mountain areas. Now the project has started a spatial and participatory analysis of vulnerabilities and resilience of land use, production systems, and value chains in each of the 23 selected Reference Regions, to climate change and other relevant threats.

The project co-creates with local actors the needed knowledge and data through the MAPs. Furthermore, each MAP will conduct a foresight exercise to imagine future scenarios of mountain VCs by 2050.

In addition, MOVING will produce and provide interactive visual tools such as MOVING Mountains App, an open tool for visualisation of georeferenced data and a policy design toolkit.

In your opinion, what will be the main impact and contribution of MOVING?

In addition to all the results of the different research activities, the main contribution is the co-development of knowledge regarding the interaction of value chains in the socio-ecological system (SES) that makes up a mountain area, and how they can contribute to the sustainable future of these territories.

The project will also contribute to future perspectives of these areas through the design of scenarios to 2050, and the identification of policy gaps and building blocks for the new generation of policies that enhance the resilience and sustainability of mountain regions.

This is the first of a series of interviews presenting the work carried out and development of the reseach project, MOVING.