ICIMOD GMBA PhD Fellowship Call for Applications

Mountains are of immense ecological, cultural, and socioeconomic importance. They cover 24% of the world’s land surface, host 12% of the world’s population, harbour huge biological and cultural diversity, and provide vital ecosystem goods and services. However, the combination of increasing global demographic and economic pressure and high biodiversity and ecosystems service value also makes them particularly vulnerable. Accordingly, ecologically sustainable socioeconomic development in mountains has become a priority and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) have been adopted as a useful tool to guide this progress. 

Mountain Biodiversity and the Sustainable Development Goals: Knowledge for Synergistic Action (GMBA), will contribute to the development of tools and guide progress towards ecologically sustainable development in the mountains. It is the first mountain-specific comparative assessment of interactions among SDG targets based on an analysis of the status and trends in biodiversity, ecosystem services, human wellbeing, and their direct (or indirect) drivers. It will focus on developing a better understanding of the specific challenges associated with the sustainable management and conservation of mountain biodiversity (SDG 15.4) in the context of competing development goals, limited resources, and complex governance structures. This assessment will be undertaken across global, national, and sub-national scales from mountain systems to communities, and the research outcomes disseminated to relevant stakeholders for uptake into synergistic sustainable development strategies. 

This collaborative research project will be executed by experienced partners in Bolivia, Nepal, Switzerland, and Tanzania using globally available data; a literature review; an online survey of more than1,000 mountain ecosystems involving hundreds of experts in hundreds of mountain ranges worldwide; and local field surveys to collect data on the biodiversity–ecosystem services–human wellbeing nexus across scales. The position will be managed by ICIMOD in close collaboration with partners from Bolivia, Nepal, Switzerland, and Tanzania.

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