Governing mountain commons between tradition and innovation

Jungmeier, Michael; Rist, Stephan; Tribaldos, Theresa; Kirchmeir, Hanns; Liechti, Karina; Lochmatter, Alessandra; Meessen, Heino; Auinger, Monika; Schmalzl, Lilia; Plassmann, Guido (2021). Governing mountain commons between tradition and innovation. In: III World Higher Education Conference. Barcelona, Spain. 18-20 May 2022.

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The high spatial, climatic and cultural diversity of the Alpine region has led to particular forms of traditional governance of commons with respective commoners’ organizations and rules. However, the traditional use of the commons has increasingly become subject to changes due to challenges of modern economies and different social compositions and practices. Accordingly, changing demands as well as new social and technological innovations are shaping the use of commons and their governance practices today.
In this policy brief, UNESCO Chairs of the Alpine region present traditional models of governance of commons (water, pasture, forest, biodiversity, and protected areas) in the Alpine space. We discuss the relevance of traditional governance practices and their limitations in the light of current challenges linked to sustainability. We do this by using examples of different UNESCO sites (biosphere reserves, world heritage sites, geoparks) and surrounding regions, and we ask ourselves where social and technological innovations can contribute to social decisions on how to deal with the commons.
According to the discussed examples and project results, we derive recommendations for policy makers. In this way, we would like to contribute to an international discussion on the management of common resources in general and of mountain protected areas in particular.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability > Unit Critical Sustainability Studies (CSS)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Rist, Stephan, Tribaldos, Theresa Margarete, Liechti, Karina, Meessen, Heino


UNESCO Chairs / UNITWIN Networks Policy Brief


[1038] UNESCO Chair on Cultural and Natural Heritage and Sustainable Mountain Development in Coodination with World Nature Forum (WNF) in Naters, Switzerland
[804] Socio-Economic Transition




Melchior Peter Nussbaumer

Date Deposited:

14 Nov 2022 13:01

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:28

Additional Information:

Conference: Full paper




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