The term Anthropocene recognizes that humans have become the dominant agents of environmental change. In keeping with the tendency to focus on the negative effects of human activities, the Anthropocene is generally viewed as an epoch of environmental destruction and degradation as consequences of human meddling. This view should not blind us to the positive potential of human transformations.
Discussion of the Anthropocene has so far been more global than local. The role of specific environments including mountains has not often been considered, nor has there been adequate dialogue on regional and local environmental and social implications. This inhibits our ability to think of positive opportunities for mountains and the people who live in them.
There are persuasive reasons for taking a special look at mountains in the Anthropocene. The highlands are home to twelve percent of the world’s population and half the global biodiversity hotspots. They are the sources of vital waters and important crops. They provide refuge for endangered species and cultures. They are hotspots of global environmental change, with adverse but also potential positive consequences. Mountains are areas of environmental and cultural diversity; they may serve as repositories of global learning and testing grounds for adaptations to global change.
This conference invites anyone with an interest in the mountains to register their ‘seeds of change’: grass-root practices and ideas that show the positive potential of human activity in the environment. We are collecting stories, research papers, Photographs, short films/documentaries and artwork that fits the conference themes. Together we will nurture these seeds to seedlings and eventually to robust trees.