Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Biodiversity of the natural mountains heritage – present challenges and sustainable perspectives

Antonescu, Daniela (2018): Biodiversity of the natural mountains heritage – present challenges and sustainable perspectives.

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Between mountain regions and biodiversity exists a direct and indissoluble link: the mountain areas represent, perhaps, the most important source of eco-systems at global level, true scientific laboratories for researching and learning about the evolution and distribution of species and live bodies, about the relationships between these and about their adjustment to various environments and about the crucial influences of human actions, that led to the current climate changes. The mountains operate as true refuge for endemic species affected by uncontrolled human actions, while alpine meadows are exposed to losses of traditional pasture practices. The diverse and complex mountainous regions are the core elements of the environmental and sustainable development policies, the difficulties and problems encountered by these areas in adjusting to the new climate changes requiring adequate, swift and especially permanent (continuously supported) measures. The mountains belong, as a rule, to environmental geography but, just the same, they may be analysed also from the economic, social, cultural viewpoint, etc. as their multi-disciplinary nature is acknowledged both in the academic milieu but also by the decision factors involved in territorial development policy. Recently, the New Economic Geography, promoted intensively at global level, considers economic and social development of mountain regions of particular importance: mountain areas are important sources for raw materials and materials necessary for basic output and consumption (agriculture, industry, services) an aspect which affects under the present circumstances, both biodiversity and the living standard of local communities. The economic perspective is of particular importance both at the level of regional groups of interest, but the more so at the local level for the communities depending directly and permanently on the resources and conditions provided by the mountain. The negative impact on the mountain area of economic activities is increasingly more visible both at high and low altitude and therefore it should lead to a common vision and sustainable approach regarding the state of the biodiversity for this area because affecting a habitat might attract also the destruction of the entire ecologic balance which is already very fragile nowadays. Having as starting point the above considerations, the present paper provides a broad image of the relationship between the biodiversity of the mountain area and the implications of its economic and social development by resorting foremost to national and international documentary sources, to statistic data and information which attempt to complete the global image about the evolution of the relationship in time and space.

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