Researchers and experts from across the globe together with local people met on March 1 in Kunming, Yunnan province to explore ideas and innovations about some of the world’ s most spectacular yet threatened environments: the mountains. The four-day Mountain Futures Conference organized by Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) aimed at exploring visions of positive mountain futures and designing mechanisms to turn them into reality.

“Mountains are both repositories of learning and storehouses of diversity,” said Professor Xu Jianchu, ICRAF's Senior Scientist and Regional Coordinator for East and Central Asia Region. “They are rich in both biological and cultural diversity, including local communities who have over generations shaped their traditions and livelihoods in response to their environments. This wealth of knowledge can be combined with scientific research in order to generate ideas and partnerships that will point the way to a brighter future.”

Deputy Director of Kunming Institute of Botany, Professor Yang Yongping, explained why Kunming is an ideal location for the conference: “Southwest China is home to our country’s most culturally and biologically diverse mountain areas. We can draw on this diversity to make our positive visions of the future a reality.”

Conference participants submitted “seeds of change” - ideas and innovations that hold the potential to achieve positive change in the mountains - and will discuss how to develop them and scale them up to improve lives and protect environments in mountain regions across the world.


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