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‘Mountain Futures’ and Embassy of Switzerland in China Promotes Sino-Swiss Cooperation on Mountain Development

Source: Institute of Animal Sciences

2018-07-25 05:16

The Embassy of Switzerland in China hosted an event named ‘Mountain Futures – a Shared Vision of Switzerland and China’ to promote Sino-Swiss cooperation on mountain development. On July 5, 2018, the Ambassador of Switzerland to China, H. E. Jean-Jacques de Dardel, delivered a brief introduction on the events which presented some new ways in which Switzerland and China would work together to pioneer new approaches to rural revitalization in mountain areas.


The relationship between humans and nature has evolved through three ages and three spaces: In the age of nature, humans saw themselves as being part of the natural world; humans developed agriculture and lived in rural areas enjoying close connection with the land. In the age of industry, or the Anthropocene, humans raised great cities, which relied on intensive agriculture in the lowlands and coastal regions. And now, we are moving into a new, uncertain age which will be shaped by powerful new technologies such as artificial intelligence, but how these will affect the relationship between humans and nature has remained unknown. We must look beyond the urban-rural categorization but to look for a third space for inspiration, one whose diversity and richness has been largely forgotten: the mountainscape.

The event was hold by Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) during Swiss Innovation Week 2018, featuring videos and local ecological art. Prof. Xu Jianchu from the Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB) gave an introduction to the Honghe Mountain Futures Innovation Centre. The Mountain Futures platform is a KIB-hosted initiative that works with international partners including Switzerland to create and share innovative solutions so that to secure a sustainable future for mountains and their people.

A new book named ‘Mountain Futures: Inspiration and Innovation from the World’s Highlands’ was recommended on the event, which illustrates inspiring stories of mountain regions around the globe with stunning colour photography. Attendees discussed new advances in smart agriculture for rural revitalization, and tasteed high-value mountain products such as Swiss cheese and mangoes from Honghe, Yunnan.

Mountains are home to more than 900 million people, of whom 70 percent still live in rural areas, they also provide ecosystem goods and services to about half of the global population. Mountain regions are increasingly effected by various drives of change such as migration, climate change, changes in local and international policies, increasing accessibility and commodification.
The Mountain Futures platform for international collaboration on mountain issues is led by the Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Animal Sciences of CAAS, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), and the Honghe County People's Government.

By Jiang Yi
jiangyi@mail.kib.ac.cn