International Mountain Conference, Innsbruck, Sept. 2019

Markus Schermer

von 8. bis 12. September 2019 findet in Innsbruck die International Mountain Conference statt. Ich möchte insbesondere auf die Calls mit Bezug zu Agro-Food Themen hinweisen:


Specific Topic 3.3: Socio-ecologic resilience of agri-food systems in Mountain regions

Workshop 3.3.A: Adapting Mountain agro-food systems to climate change

Moderators: Markus Schermer (Chair), Rike Stotten, Marianne Penker     

Climate change enables new agricultural cultivation, such as the expanding horticulture and viticulture, or longer growing periods. This opens on the one hand new options for mountain farming to adapt their strategies and to reinvent. However new options for production may lead to conflicting strategies (e.g. intensive horticulture vs. organic grassland). On the other hand, new challenges may arise due to changes of rainfall patterns and prolonged drought periods. Moreover, the impact of climate change is not restricted to production, but includes consumption (e.g. by changing tourism patterns).

This workshop session explores the positive and negative consequences of climate change on production patterns on individual farms, within the farming community and in the relationships between farming and wider society.

We welcome contributions from social science (sociology, anthropology, geography…) using quantitative and/or qualitative approaches to explore issues on different scales from farm to local, regional, and global level. We are especially interested to receive contributions not only from the northern mountain regions but also from the global south.

Workshop 3.3.B: Buffering socio-economic vulnerabilities of agro-food systems in Mountain regions

Moderators: Markus Schermer (Chair), Rike Stotten, Andreja Borec     

Agro-food systems in mountain areas are challenged by their remoteness from centers of consumption, which results in socio-economic vulnerabilities, caused by higher transportation costs and a limited local consumer base. Often the terrain limits mechanization and growth of the individual farm, increases production costs and decreases competitiveness. In consequence, this diminishes the attractiveness for young farmers to take over. Thus, many mountain farms are operated in part time conditions and suffer from rural exodus. These conditions influence negatively the capacity to innovate and to respond to new options and challenges.

This workshop session explores new innovative approaches to battle these vulnerabilities. These may relate to product innovation, farm diversification, new entrants into farming, innovative educational initiatives or other approaches to improve the capabilities of actors within the agro-food system.

We welcome contributions that tackle the related questions in empirical case studies from all mountain regions around the world.

Workshop 3.3.C: Transforming the societal framework to foster the sustainability of Mountain agro-food systems

Moderators: Markus Schermer (Chair), Rike Stotten, Hilde Bjøkhaug    

Current socio-political frameworks in mountain regions, especially within the global north, increasingly separate the support for the provision of different eco-system services from the production of food. Support for production is steadily reduced and gradually shifted to environmental protective measures. At the same time we witness a shift from post-production to neo-productivism in rural development. Under neo-liberal conditions, agro-food systems in mountain areas are however not competitive. New collective approaches to deal with these adversities appear on different levels of governance from food value chains to territorial approaches, such as organic regions.

This workshop session explores these new approaches and seeks to assess their potential to transform agro-food systems toward sustainability and resilience.

We welcome contributions that focus on examples of best practice mountain food value chains, innovative ways of governing production, processing and marketing, civic food networks, rural urban linkages or trans-sectoral territorial co-operations. We specifically focus on governance mechanisms across different sectoral and spatial levels.


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