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MOVING: spotlight on value chains of mountains in Europe and beyond

Map of Europe's mountains (Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay)
“We are delighted to be sharing the expertise and innovation illustrated by Scottish mountain value chains with our EU partners, and learning together how we can ensure a green recovery that addresses the climate and biodiversity crises, ‘leaving no-one behind’.”

Mountains cover 22% of the world's land surface and are home to about 915 million people. In Europe, mountain ranges cover 36% of the European area and play an essential role in the provision of public and private goods. Despite their relevance in both ecological and socioeconomic terms, mountains are still considered as ‘the undervalued ecological backbone of Europe’ because of a lack of updated and comparable knowledge about many aspects of these regions. 

A new €6m research project coordinated by the University of Córdoba (Spain) and featuring James Hutton Institute social scientists is looking at ways to promote the establishment of new or upgraded/upscaled value chains that contribute to resilience and sustainability of mountain areas, through a bottom-up participatory process with value chain actors, regional and European stakeholders, and policymakers.

The MOVING (MOuntain Valorization through INterconnectedness and Green growth) research initiative is funded by the Horizon 2020 programme, and brings together 23 organisations from 16 different countries (including four non-EU countries – Turkey, Serbia, Switzerland and UK), across sectors and disciplines, including research centres and institutes, industry representatives, rural developers, and innovation agents.

The project consortium met virtually on 14-16 September, with Hutton social scientists contributing to many aspects of the project. Dr Kirsty Blackstock (Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences) is coordinating a work package focussing on ‘participatory appraisal of vulnerability and performance of value chains’, bringing together experiences from across 23 mountain regions in Europe to share good practice about how to protect the social and environmental assets in mountains from future threats including climate change and depopulation.

Hutton researchers will also be shaping the conceptual approach of the project, running youth events, and contributing to the analysis of climate change and future scenarios. Specifically, they will identify a range of traditional (livestock production, winter sports) and innovative (nature tourism, food and drink tourism) value chains in the Scottish Highlands and will select one case to analyse more fully.

Dr Blackstock said: “The work will build on the long tradition of policy-relevant research into agricultural, environmental and rural development within Hutton, particularly across the Highlands and Islands.

“MOVING will be contributing to a cluster of projects aimed at sharing information on different aspects of rural and agri-environmental development, including H2020 SHERPA (on science-policy interfaces) and H2020 DESIRA (impact of digitalisation) both of which include significant Hutton input. The combined package illustrate how Hutton researchers are firmly at the centre of support to the EU Green Recovery, as well as learning lessons to share with Scottish Government, agencies, rural businesses and local communities.

“We are delighted to be sharing the expertise and innovation illustrated by Scottish mountain value chains with our EU partners, and learning together how we can ensure a green recovery that addresses the climate and biodiversity crises, ‘leaving no-one behind’.”

The MOVING partners are:

  • University of Córdoba (UCO), Spain
  • University of Pisa (UNIPI), Italy
  • Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), Switzerland
  • Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CZU), Czechia
  • Highclere Consulting (HCC), Romania
  • University of Evora (UEvora), Portugal
  • The James Hutton Institute, United Kingdom
  • National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), France
  • European Association for Information on Local Development (AEIDL), Belgium
  • National Research Council (CNR), Italy
  • Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IFZ), Austria
  • University of Crete (UOC), Greece
  • University of Molise (UNIMOL), Italy
  • Origin of Sustainability (ORIGIN), Switzerland
  • Community of Communes of the Drôme Valley (CCVD), France
  • Mena Group (MENA), Serbia
  • Association of European Regions for Products of Origin (AREPO), France
  • Stichting Connecting Natural Values and People Foundation (CNVP), Netherlands
  • Vinidea (VIN), Italy
  • EGE University (EGE), Turkey
  • Kriti (PERIFEREIA), Greece
  • Association for the Development of the Guadajoz and East Countryside of Córdoba (ADEGUA), Spain
  • RURAL Sociological and Communication (Rural Bt), Hungary

For more information about MOVING, read the project press release or visit the project website.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/moving-spotlight-value-chains-mountains-europe-and-beyond on 27/10/20 09:46:18 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.