28 September 2021

Mountain areas discuss sustainability: 6 universities of the Technical Scientific Table for Mountain areas connected from north to south to promote the sustainable development of mountain areas thanks to the 2021 RUS-CAI Climbing for Climate event

On Sunday 12 September 2021, at Agriturismo Malga Magnolta in Aprica (SO), the University of Milan with its UNIMONT centre organized a meeting on the sustainable development of mountain areas, with particular attention to the protection of landraces to mitigate the climate change now underway. The event took place as part of the Climbing for Climate initiative and saw a joint exchange with 6 Italian universities of the Technical Scientific Table for Mountain areas (TTS).

Thanks to the uniqueness of UNIMONT – the Centre of excellence of the University of Milan located in Edolo – in promoting the sustainable development of the mountains, as well as its commitment to the Technical Scientific Table for Mountain areas (TTS) – recently established by Hon. Gelmini, Minister for Regional and Autonomous Affairs with responsibility for the enhancement of mountain areas, the Centre coordinated the organization, as part of the third edition of Climbing for Climate coordinated by the Network of Universities for Sustainable Development – RUS and by the Italian Alpine Club – CAI, of a joint meeting involving Italian mountain areas from the Alps to the Apennines.

Six Italian universities belonging to the TTS connected in sync, each from their own mountain area, to share ideas and thoughts useful for promoting sustainable development in mountain areas throughout Italy. The day’s work began with a video message from Hon. Gelmini followed by a message from the General President of the Italian Alpine Club Vincenzo Torti and greetings from the numerous local institutions of each University. Therefore, the goal of involving mountain stakeholders and the general public in a dialogue that focuses on the importance of sustainable development of mountain areas for Italy has been achieved.

UNIMONT was represented by the Mayor of the Municipality of Aprica, Dario Corvi and the Vice President of CAI Aprica, Marco Negri, the head of the UNIMONT centre, Prof. Anna Giorgi, and the RUS coordinator of the University of Milan, Prof. Riccardo Guidetti; in addition, the President of the CAI of Edolo, Flavia Belotti, was present. The Libera Università di Bolzano was represented by Prof. Linda Osti, the President of CAI Alto Adige, Carlo Alberto Zanella, the Head of the Visitor Center of the Fanes – Sennes and Braies Natural Park, Matteo Rubatscher and the Vice Rector for Research, Johann Gamper. The University of Bari was represented by Prof. Giovanni Sanesi, the Mayor of Biccari, Gianfilippo Mignogna, the President of GAL Meridaunia, Pasquale De Vita, the President of Con.f.a.t., Mario De Angelis, the Director of the Forest Resources Service. Prof. Tullio Romita, Prof. Raffaele Zinno and the President of the Sila Park, Francesco Curcio, intervened on behalf of the University of Calabria followed by Prof. Gianluca Piovesan representing the University of Tuscia. Finally, Prof. Marco Alderighi, the Regional Councilor for education, universities, youth policies, European affairs and subsidiaries of the Valle D’Aosta, spoke on behalf of the University of Valle D’Aosta together with Luciano Emilio Caveri, ARPA Valle d’Aosta thanks to Edoardo Cremonese, the representative of the Safe Mountain Foundation, Jean-Pierre Fosson and Prof. Giampaolo Viglia.

The aim of the meeting was to share experiences, good practices and creative ideas as regards climate change, with Professors, researchers, students and mountain professionals. In particular, the UNIMONT event took place in Aprica (SO), at the Agriturismo Malga Magnolta, and focused on the theme of agrobiodiversity and on the importance of protecting landraces, with excellent practical examples of the impact that research can generate on mountain areas. The event also highlighted an important strategic alliance taking place, which from TTS will reach Expo 2020 Dubai: it was the first of a series of meetings that UNIMONT is organizing as it approaches Expo 2020 Dubai where, in the first week of October, dedicated to “climate and biodiversity”, themes regarding the needs and good practices existing for the enhancement of mountain areas will be discussed.

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