MRI – Mountain Research Initiative

MRI is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF and is endorsed by the following programs:

  • International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme IGBP
  • International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change IHDP
  • Global Land Project GLP
  • Global Terrestrial Monitoring System GTOS
  • UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme UNESCO MAB

From 2007 to 2010 MRI is hosted at the Institute of Geography at the University of Berne , Switzerland. The Institute of Geography is a world-reknown insitute for Mountain Research.


The Initiative’s vision is a global change scientific program that

  • detects signals of global environmental change in mountain environments,
  • defines the consequences of global environmental change for mountain regions as well as lowland systems dependent on mountain resources,
  • and informs sustainable land, water, and resource management for mountain regions at local to regional scales.

Program elements

The MRI program has three elements: communication, framing the research agenda and funding.


Communication focuses on the infrastructure and activities needed to ensure that global change mountain researchers are aware of what others in their community are doing and of important emerging elements of the strategic environment.

Framing of the research agenda

The framing of the research agenda builds on the existence of a community of researchers and attempts to develop a consensus among researchers regarding the most important research questions.

Influencing budget decisions

A focus on influencing research budget decisions aims at sseing more resources flow into research programs considered vital by the global change mountain research community.

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