Mountain tourism in the time of COVID-19

While tourists and outdoor enthusiasts were unable to partake in their favorite mountain activities during the COVID-19 shutdown, the pause has also affected the tourism-based economies of mountain destinations. Now that some tourism destinations are reopening, how will COVID-19 affect Canada’s mountain destinations like Banff, Alberta? How will tourists approach travel in general? On this episode of the Canadian Mountain Podcast, the Mayor of Banff, Karen Sorenson, discusses how the shutdown has affected her town,…

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The importance of Indigenous-led research

In the past, researchers would take helicopters to Indigenous communities, extract the information they needed and leave, often exploiting the community in the process. In recent years, there has been a strong movement of Indigenous and co-led research, where Indigenous communities are the driving force behind the studies. This episode explores some Indigenous-led initiatives that are being undertaken in partnership with the Canadian Mountain Network (CMN). Guests Dr Courtney Mason, William Snow and Dr. Aimee…

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New study by University of Alberta researchers shows how climate change could affect butterflies

Climate change is expected to significantly disrupt ecological communities. Climate change directly affects species by altering their habitat. However, indirect effects of climate change on species interactions, such as predation and competition, may have equally important impacts on species. These indirect effects may also amplify or counteract the direct effects of climate change on a species. Sedum species, the larval food plant of P. smintheus Researchers at the University of Alberta used modelling to test…

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Canadian Mountain Podcast: Human-wildlife co-existence

What happens when human activities conflict with wildlife and vice-versa? How do we share increasingly populated mountain spaces with the natural world? This Canadian Mountain Podcast episode focuses on human-wildlife co-existence and features experienced professionals in parks management, research and conservation. The conversation also considers how the general public can also help gather scientific data, known as ‘citizen science’, to improve our understanding of human-wildlife co-existence. While human-wildlife coexistence has its challenges, this episode features…

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COVID-19 response and resources

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Canadian Mountain Network has developed a Risk Management Plan to ensure operational continuity and support for our staff, volunteers, researchers, and trainees. Key actions taken last week in response to this challenge are listed below. Please subscribe to CMN’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts for updates and resources. CMN’s offices are closed and staff and contractors have been directed to work from home.  In addition to email, our…

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Recommendations to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Canada for remote and isolated communities

Many mountain communities here in Canada and around the world are located remote and isolated areas. Remote and isolated areas are often not as exposed to public health awareness campaigns compared to urban communities, who have widespread media coverage and unlimited internet access. The messaging for remote communities also needs to be specifically tailored their circumstances (e.g. limited access to water, health care and supplies) and consider culture, health literacy, and language preferences, which can…

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Mountains Matter at the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 25)

On December 2 -13, 2019, leaders from almost 200 countries gathered in Madrid, Spain at the 2019 United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP 25) to address the next crucial steps in the UN climate change process. Mountains were prominently featured at COP 25, where many stakeholders gathered to raise awareness about the effects of climate change on fragile mountain environments and communities. Several events were dedicated specifically to mountain areas and promoting their resilience to climate…

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New strategic plan aims to strengthen Indigenous research and training in Canada

Reconciling Indigenous science with Western science is crucial now more than ever. For too long, Indigenous People, culture and knowledge has been disregarded. Indigenous Peoples have not had equitable educational, funding and leadership opportunities, nor adequate representation in academia, research, government and funding institutions. However, both Western and Indigenous approaches can greatly complement one another and contribute to modern science. As part of Canada’s efforts to address reconciliation, the federal research granting agencies have released…

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International Mountain Day sparks worldwide celebrations highlighting the importance of mountains

On December 11th, 2019, the world paid special attention to mountain peoples and places for International Mountain Day (IMD). Government officials, researchers, mountaineers, environmentalists, mountain communities and students gathered with the objective of making mountain issues prominent for decision-makers. Since 2003, the United Nations has designated December 11th as “International Mountain Day” to call attention to the world about the importance of mountains to life. IMD 2019 was celebrated in over 27 countries with conferences, talks,…

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New study reveals need for immediate action to protect Earth’s “water towers”

Mountains are called the “water towers of the world” because they supply water to almost two billion around the world, or a quarter of the human population. Much of this water is available in the form of streams, lakes, snowpacks, ice and glaciers, which are highly vulnerable to climate change, as well as population growth and poor management. Mountain glaciers, ice and snowpacks around the world are melting due to climate change. At first, this…

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