Special Issue "Sustainability Governance: International Frameworks and Local Contributions with Special Consideration of Mountain Areas"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Geography and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2022 | Viewed by 3934

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Harald Pechlaner
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Head of Center, Center of Advances Studies, Eurac Research, Italy
Chair in Tourism, Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany
Interests: sustainable development; tourism and culture; interdisciplinary analysis and policy
Dr. Stefan Schneiderbauer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Co-Head of GLOMOS Programme, Global Mountain Safeguard Research (GLOMOS), Institute for Environment and Human Security, United Nations University, Germany
Interests: climate and disaster risk management; social vulnerability and community resilience; sustainable development in mountain regions
Dr. Paola Fontanella Pisa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Programme Associate GLOMOS, Institute for Environment and Human Security, United Nations University, Germany
Interests: cultural and natural heritage; disaster memory and risk perception; social vulnerability and community resilience
Dr. Felix Windegger
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Eurac Research, Center for Advanced Studies, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
Interests: economics and social sciences; socio-ecological economics and policy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims at addressing sustainability governance at the crossroads between international frameworks and local contributions, particularly in mountainous regions, focusing on the topics of tourism and natural resource management. The Special Issue reflects the guiding theme of the 1st edition of the Global Mountain Sustainability Forum (GMS Forum), which will take place on October 5–6, 2020, in Sesto/Sexten, Italy. This initiative has been advanced by Eurac Research’s Center for Advanced Studies in collaboration with the United Nations University Institute for Environmental and Human Security (UNU-EHS), and within the framework of their joint Global Mountain Safeguard Research (GLOMOS) programme. This newly established conference series is designed to address challenges concerning sustainability in mountain regions. Mountains are the world’s “water towers”, providing multiple ecosystem services benefitting the livelihoods of communities that inhabit them as well as the adjacent communities. However, mountains are as important as they are susceptible to changing dynamics, and the impact of these changes will determine the future of ecosystem services to both highland and lowland communities. With the purpose of coping with the adverse effects of climate change, in combination with current economic and social changes, it is important to investigate solutions for sustainable governance of mountain areas.  

We welcome contributions from various disciplines, theoretical and empirical oriented research papers, using quantitative or qualitative methods. In this Special Issue, we aim at covering key issues in sustainability governance in mountain regions. Particularly welcomed are topics including (but not limited to):

  • Global developments and critical issues in sustainability, such as climate change, overtourism, demographic change, energy transition, or the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Natural resources and sustainability, such as integrated catchment management, climate resilience, or supply and demand issues between highlands and lowlands;
  • Tourism and sustainability in mountain areas, such as tourism activities, assessing developments in tourism against sustainability objectives, societal transformation processes related to tourism or cultural sustainability;
  • Sustainable governance and its potentials and limitations,g., successful management of natural resources within the context of competing users, disaster risk reduction within the context of changing climate conditions and increasing touristic activities, sustainable management of natural resources in protected areas, or local empowerment and participation.

The papers submitted and selected for this Special Issue should not have been previously published nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere, and will be subjected to a double-blind peer review process. An article processing charge will apply to articles accepted for publication, though online and on-site participants of the GMS Forum 2020 are entitled to a 50% discount.

For further information, please visit https://gms-forum.eurac.edu/.

Prof. Dr. Harald Pechlaner
Dr. Stefan Schneiderbauer
Dr. Paola Fontanella Pisa
Dr. Felix Windegger
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sustainability governance and its potentials and limitations
  • Sustainability management
  • Mountain areas
  • Resilience
  • Natural resources
  • Protected areas
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Sustainable Development Agenda
  • Societal transformation
  • Sustainable development
  • Climate change
  • Overtourism
  • Demographic change
  • Energy transition
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Natural resources and sustainability
  • Integrated catchment management
  • Climate resilience
  • Supply and demand issues between highlands and lowlands
  • Tourism and sustainability in mountain areas
  • Societal transformation processes related to tourism
  • Cultural sustainability
  • Successful management of natural resources within the context of competing users
  • Disaster risk reduction within the context of changing climate conditions and increasing touristic activities
  • Sustainable management of natural resources in protected areas
  • Local empowerment and participation

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
The Relevance of Intangible Cultural Heritage and Traditional Languages for the Tourism Experience: The Case of Ladin in South Tyrol
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 2729; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052729 - 25 Feb 2022
Viewed by 548
Abstract
Cultural tourists have become increasingly interested in intangible cultural heritage and in minority, peripheral areas. This paper will focus on the ICH of minority communities, with a closer look at minority languages, considering the Ladin communities of South Tyrol (Italy). This study uses [...] Read more.
Cultural tourists have become increasingly interested in intangible cultural heritage and in minority, peripheral areas. This paper will focus on the ICH of minority communities, with a closer look at minority languages, considering the Ladin communities of South Tyrol (Italy). This study uses a qualitative methodology—16 semi-structured interviews with German- and Italian-speaking tourists in Val Pusteria, with a video presenting a real-life situation in Ladin. It reveals that, although culture is not the main motivation to travel to South Tyrol, tourists are fascinated by tangible and intangible aspects of the South Tyrolean culture, such as the architecture, traditional lifestyle, events, practices, dresses, and the language. What is particularly interesting is the role that cultural sustainability plays for the region: the successful maintenance of traditions, including the traditional languages—dialect and Ladin—are mentioned with affection. Tourism practitioners in Val Pusteria and the neighboring Ladin valleys should consider experiences in and with the Ladin language as fun and interesting for tourists but should also provide interpretational and educational support. Full article
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Article
Will COVID-19 Boost Sustainable Tourism: Wishful Thinking or Reality?
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1686; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031686 - 01 Feb 2022
Viewed by 681
Abstract
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, scholars have presented publications discussing a shift of tourism towards a higher level of sustainability. Many argue that in 2020, people were not able to travel as usual and therefore could discover the added value of [...] Read more.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, scholars have presented publications discussing a shift of tourism towards a higher level of sustainability. Many argue that in 2020, people were not able to travel as usual and therefore could discover the added value of a sustainable vacation through new experiences in new, often domestic destinations. Using a quantitative online panel-based study in five European countries and the USA, we looked for evidence supporting such arguments. We analyzed demographics, the observed change in destination choice, and important criteria when selecting a different destination, including potential effects of the pandemic on traveling. We uncovered possible impacts of the 2020 vacation experience on future traveling and looked at both travel push factors and social values of non-travelers and travelers for explanation. Overall, we could not find any evident signals for the pandemic to be a trigger for more sustainable traveling, nor a long-term change in future demand. Full article
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Article
Transformation of Nature Protection Institutions in the North Caucasus: From a State Monopoly of Governance to Multi-Actor Management
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 12145; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132112145 - 03 Nov 2021
Viewed by 615
Abstract
The paper analyzes the state and dynamics of key actors and institutions that regulate the use of resources within the protected areas of the North Caucasus, using the examples of the Teberda Biosphere Reserve and the Elbrus National Park. The network of protected [...] Read more.
The paper analyzes the state and dynamics of key actors and institutions that regulate the use of resources within the protected areas of the North Caucasus, using the examples of the Teberda Biosphere Reserve and the Elbrus National Park. The network of protected areas created in the North Caucasus during the Soviet period relied on government support, and the participation of the local population in nature conservation was very limited. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the demonopolization of state land laws, new actors emerged, such as the local population and business. This has led to an exacerbation of the conflict between the tasks of nature conservation and the interests of business and local communities. The introduction of market mechanisms and the commercialization of the tourism sector threaten the state of protected natural areas (PAs) and require effective ways of land matters regulation. The paper analyzes the question of whether the PA system created in the Soviet era should continue to be exclusively the privilege of the state using a centralized approach to management? The contradictions in legislation and conflicts of nature management have cast doubt on the effectiveness of the system of environmental institutions inherited from the Soviet period. One of the solutions could be the actualization of environmental legislation, bringing it in line with civil and land regulations, as well as the wide involvement of the local communities and the public in the evaluation of economic and legal projects. Full article
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Article
Scrutinising Multidimensional Challenges in the Maloti-Drakensberg (Lesotho/South Africa)
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8511; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158511 - 30 Jul 2021
Viewed by 815
Abstract
The Maloti-Drakensberg (MD) is the largest and highest-elevation mountain system in southern Africa. Covering 40,000 km2 and reaching 3500 m, the MD provides a range of ecosystem services (ES) to the entire southern African region—benefitting diverse users and extending well beyond the [...] Read more.
The Maloti-Drakensberg (MD) is the largest and highest-elevation mountain system in southern Africa. Covering 40,000 km2 and reaching 3500 m, the MD provides a range of ecosystem services (ES) to the entire southern African region—benefitting diverse users and extending well beyond the mountains. Rapid socioecological change threatens the provision of ES and presents multidimensional challenges to sustainable development. However, the continued land degradation and persisting socioeconomic problems indicate that development policy has not been effective in tackling these issues. In this paper, a multidisciplinary literature review forms the basis of a discussion which takes an ES framing to scrutinise the multidimensional social, political, economic and cultural issues in the study area. Three critical management systems are presented, and their associated ES are discussed, namely, water transfer, rangelands and conservation and tourism. In particular, the diversity of ES uses and values in the MD is considered. The results reveal the main drivers of continued unsustainable development and highlight important information gaps. Full article
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