This one-day workshop aims to offer a platform for a discussion between scientists and individual actors in charge of formulating and implementing environmental policies for Swiss mountains. The objective is to identify together challenges and opportunities associated with the integration of data from research and long-term monitoring of the environment into policy and implementation cycles.
The formulation of evidence-based environmental policies and management strategies for mountain regions, their natural resources, and the ecosystem services they support is key to the resilience of mountain regions in the face of change and transitions, to creating a safe space for innovation in mountain regions, and for the long-term wellbeing of mountain populations. Critical data for devising such approaches are the time series collected through long-term ecological research and monitoring programs as they uniquely contribute to our understanding of the pervasive effects of global change on mountain social-ecological systems.
Long-term environmental data can inform policy and management through different means. However, the integration of environmental sciences with policy presents challenges, such as the reaching of scientific consensus for the delivery of a unanimous opinion, the reluctance by policy-makers to engage in evidence-based management, the difference between rapid political cycles and "slow" scientific progress or the impossibility to develop "one-size-fits-all political solutions" for unique ecological systems.
Do these challenges also apply in Switzerland? Are environmental research and monitoring programs in Swiss mountains consistently contributing to and informing environmental policy cycles from the local to the federal level or at what stage in these cycles are the difficulties with integration arising? And what role can research centers such as the Center for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research of the University of Lausanne play in facilitating or catalyzing the integration of research and long-term monitoring data into local to federal policies for environmental management?
This one-day workshop will serve as a platform to address those questions in a dialogue between scientists as well as individual actors in charge of formulating and implementing environmental policies for Swiss mountains.