The Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA) is a platform for international and cross-disciplinary collaboration on the assessment, conservation, and sustainable use of mountain biodiversity.
The Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment Network was initiated by the Swiss Academy of Sciences and inaugurated by DIVERSITAS in 2000 in fulfillment of Agenda 21. The network’s activities were officially taken up by convening the First International Conference on Mountain Biodiversity in Rigi-Kaltbad LU, Switzerland in September 2000.
After almost 15 years under the auspices of DIVERSITAS, GMBA is now a project of the new international research programme Future Earth following the closing of the activities of DIVERSITAS.
Mountain ecosystems are both particularly rich and exceptionally fragile. Mountains support one-third of terrestrial species diversity, host half of all 34 global biodiversity hotspots, and provide numerous ecosystem services, including the provision of clean water to half of humankind. Additionally, because of the biogeographic isolation under which they have evolved, mountain biomes also harbor high numbers of endemic species. Yet steep terrain and mountain climate in combination with severe land use pressure cause mountain ecosystems to rank among the most endangered landscapes in the world.
The conservation and sustainable use of mountain ecosystems in general and of mountain biodiversity in particular are essential for a sustainable future to humankind. Our mission is to provide a framework to support and foster research on the conservation, management, and sustainable use of mountain biodiversity in a changing world and facilitate the dialogue between communities of researchers, stakeholders, and policy-makers engaged in mountain biodiversity issues.
The main goals of GMBA are to
coordinate and promote scientific research on current and future change in mountain biodiversity and in the provisioning of ecosystem services by mountain regions
facilitate the access to and usage of research outcomes for scientists, policy makers, and stakeholders
provide a framework for bottom-up involvement of policy makers and stakeholders in research efforts via tools such as co-design and participatory modelling
GMBA activities are overseen by an international Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) consisting of 9 members with excellent scientific expertise, who represent different mountain regions of the world. The committee provides guidance to the programme as a whole and stimulates, evaluates, and endorses new collaborative research projects in view of facilitating national and international funding. Workshops on specific mountain biodiversity themes are planned and organized with the GMBA International Project Office.
The GMBA office is located at the University of Bern, Switzerland. It engages in managing and coordinating the network's global activities.