From present to future development pathways in fragile mountain landscapes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Timos Karpouzoglou
  • Art Dewulf
  • Katya Perez
  • Praju Gurung
  • Santosh Regmi
  • Aiganysh Isaeva
  • Marc Foggin
  • Johan Bastiaensen
  • Gert Van Hecken
  • Zed Zulkafli
  • Prem Sagar Chapagain
  • Wouter Buytaert
  • Katarzyna Cieslik

External organisations

  • KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Wageningen University and Research Centre
  • Consortium for the Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecoregion (CONDESAN)
  • Society of Hydrologists and Meteorologists (SOHAM Nepal)
  • University of Central Asia
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Antwerp
  • Universiti Putra Malaysia
  • Cardiff University
  • Tribhuvan University
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Cambridge


Mountains are dynamic landscapes that are home to rich natural and human heritage. However, climatic variability, globalisation and increasing ecomomic integration are making these landscapes more fragile with implications for present and future development. Using a pathways lens, we examine development trajectories in mountains and relate these to environmental and social-economic change currently taking place. We analyse and compare pathways in three case studies in Peru (Andes); Nepal (Himalayas); and Kyrgyzstan (Tien Shan). The paper highlights that development pathways in fragile mountain regions may be shifting in new directions, but because they emerge out of complex socio-environmental and historical contexts, there are also social risks associated with the articulation of future pathways, particularly in terms of social equity and sustainability. Building on different pathway approaches with their various strengths and weaknesses, this study examines the role of human agency and power, the role of historical and present context and feedbacks between social and ecological features in shaping future development pathways of mountain landscapes.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-613
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Development pathway, Kyrgyzstan, Landscapes, Mountains, Nepal, Peru, Power, Social-ecological systems, Water