KUNMING, CHINA, 04 June to 08 June 2018 – Researchers and representatives from governments, mountain communities and private sector companies from across the globe meet today to launch a major new centre for mountain research. The four-day Mountain Futures 2018 conference, organised by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (KIB/CAS) includes a visit to the site of a new 200-hectare site in China’s Yunnan Province dedicated to developing innovative farming systems that tackle poverty and environmental degradation in the world’s mountain areas.
“Mountain regions can serve as pathways to a better future” said Professor XU Jianchu, ICRAF's Senior Scientist and Regional Coordinator for East and Central Asia. “The ingenuity and diversity of mountain landscapes and peoples can be harnessed to generate bold new solutions to global challenges such as climate change.”
The Deputy Director of the Kunming Institute of Botany, Professor YANG Yongping, said “Mountains should not be viewed as boundaries, but as places for cooperation and innovation”.
Conference participants will first travel to the site of the Honghe Innovation Centre for Mountain Futures, where large-scale regional agroforestry parks are under construction, and research into improved mango varieties, medicinal mushroom cultivation and China-Africa cooperation on sustainable textile fibres is already underway.
The trip will be followed by a two-day Open Science Conference in Kunming, where participants will exchange ideas, report results and discuss new partnerships focused on areas such as mountain agriculture, poverty eradication and smart ecosystem monitoring.
The conference will also see the launch of a new book, “Mountain Futures: Inspiration and Innovation from the World’s Highlands” which showcases inspiring stories of hope and resilience alongside stunning photography of mountainscapes and their people. The conference wraps up with a Mountain Film Exhibition featuring films shot by mountain peoples from the Tibetan Plateau.
Group Photo (Image by KIB)