Scientific article
Open access

Education for sustainable mountain development: preliminary insights from a web-based survey of opportunities

Published inMountain Research and Development, vol. 40, no. 4
Publication date2020

This article provides insights from a survey of education programs for sustainable mountain development (ESMD) and comments on the findings from the perspective of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's.(UNESCO) Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for 2030 framework. Twenty-eight programs implemented by universities, research institutes, and nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are analyzed in terms of program structure, curriculum, and student needs and trajectories. Three-quarters of the programs are based in Europe and North America, the remainder in Central and East Asia and Australia. The programs fall into 6 categories, ranging from traditional university courses to summer schools, university collaborations, distance education, NPO-run skills-focused schools, and research facilities or observatories. Curriculum development toward ESMD has seen considerable progress, even if single-discipline and single-topic programs continue to be widespread. It has embraced fieldwork to offer learners hands-on experience and, increasingly, to work with local stakeholders in problem-oriented settings. Key elements of the ESD for 2030 framework are found, including concern for transformative learning and critical reflection on the structural causes of unsustainability. However, further research is needed to explore less visible aspects such as nonformal and informal education. Policy advocacy and institutional networking are required to scale up innovative approaches.

  • mountain education
  • sustainability
  • institution
  • sustainable development
  • web-based survey
  • higher education institutions
Citation (ISO format)
UENO, Kenichi, BALSIGER, Jörg, PRICE, Martin F. Education for sustainable mountain development: preliminary insights from a web-based survey of opportunities. In: Mountain Research and Development, 2020, vol. 40, n° 4. doi: 10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-20-00026.1
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0276-4741

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