A Multiscale Transdisciplinary Framework for Advancing the Sustainability Agenda of Mountain Agricultural Systems

Shakya, Bandana; Schneider, Flurina; Yang, Yongping; Sharma, Eklabya (2020). A Multiscale Transdisciplinary Framework for Advancing the Sustainability Agenda of Mountain Agricultural Systems. Mountain Research and Development, 39(3), A1-A7. International Mountain Society 10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-18-00079.1

Text (A Multiscale Transdisciplinary Framework for Advancing the Sustainability Agenda of Mountain Agricultural Systems)
2020_Shakya et al_MRD.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (1MB) | Preview

Mountain agricultural systems (MASs) are multifunctional andmultidimensional sociocultural systems. They are constantlyinfluenced by many factors whose intensity and impacts areunpredictable. The recent Hindu Kush–Himalayan AssessmentReport highlighted the need to integrate mountain perspectivesinto governance decisions on sustaining resources in the HinduKush–Himalayan region, emphasizing the importance ofsustainable MASs. Our reflective literature review identified 3barriers to advancing the agenda for sustainable MASs: (1) thedisconnect of normative orientations for sustainability at differentscales, (2) inadequate alignment between stakeholders’sustainability orientation and scientific evidence, and (3) weakintegration of scientific evidence into the formulation of mountain-specific solutions for sustainability. To address these barriers, wepropose a conceptual, regional (mountain specific),transdisciplinary framework with an interscale science–policyinterface. This will help scientific evidence to be incorporated infuture policies and programs on sustainable MASs while beingresponsive to the needs of mountain farming communities andstakeholders who benefit from broader services. The frameworkemphasizes the connection between normative orientations for sustainability, science evidence, and solutions for sustainabilitythrough the use of iterative transdisciplinary knowledge-generationand knowledge-integration multiscale feedback processes. Thus,the key to advancing the agenda for sustainability of MASs lies inaligning scientific evidence with existing normative orientations forsustainability at local, subnational, national, regional, and globallevels. The alignment triggers sustainability-oriented solutions. Thisshould highlight MASs globally, increasing investment whileacknowledging MAS specificities and niche opportunities. In turn,this will strengthen national policies and programs specific toMASs and facilitate integrated farm management throughinterdisciplinary extension and delivery services.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Schneider, Flurina




International Mountain Society


[803] Cluster: Land Resources




Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

11 Feb 2020 14:28

Last Modified:

11 Feb 2020 14:28

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Transdisciplinary framework; regional framework;systems approach; science–practice–policy interface;sustainability norms; sustainability-oriented solutions; mountainagriculture; Hindu Kush–Himalaya





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback