Mountain Resilience Coalition

Cultures around the globe have long looked to the mountains for inspiration. Mountain regions provide the basis for human livelihood and ecosystem services, making up twenty percent of the earth, thirteen percent of human communities, up to eighty percent of water consumed by humans, and twenty-five percent of biodiversity. Yet these pinnacles of vision and sources of life are in danger, with glaciers melting, over thirty percent of mountain people suffering from food insecurity, and clean water at risk. In this era of climate disruption, it is time to look again to the world’s mountain communities as beacons of a more resilient story, stretching from the planet’s headwaters to all communities downstream.

The Aspen International Mountain Foundation, Telluride Institute, and Western  Colorado University’s (Western) School of Environment & Sustainability have formed a triad of Colorado-based organizations called the Mountain Resilience Coalition. The Mountain Resilience Coalition partners with the vulnerable yet visionary places that form the United Nations (UN) Mountain Partnership’s North and Central American and Caribbean region. We seek to give voice to all communities in the region and to model positive change at the table of UN events dedicated to mountain community health. This intersection of nonprofit and university commitments offers communication networks, expert research, and get-it-done project collaboration across cultures.

Download:  MountainResilience_wLevels

United Nations Mountain Partnership meets with graduate students about the future of mountains

The future of mountains and how to bridge the gap between the global Agenda 2030 and local examples of implementation in mountain communities was at the heart of a meeting between the Mountain Resilience Coalition (MRC) and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS). The two groups shared about their missions, visions and projects, and brainstormed about how to strengthen relationships and exchanges among Mountain Partnership (MP) members to advance sustainable mountain development. Read more about the meeting.

See a short video about the United Nations Mountain Partnership presentation in Rome, Italy.

Learn more about the Mountain Resilience Coalition in this new movie.


Please join us for a series of “mountain resilience” films concurrent with the 2018 MountainFilm Festival.  We are calling the project “MountainFringe.”  It features films by WSCU professor Jack Lucido, videographer Kaard Bombe, and John D. Liu and many more.  See the attached MountainFringe Schedule3.


Telluride Institute’s Dan Collins plays VJ at the Ghost Town venue, Telluride, CO, May 25 – 28, 9 – 10:30 pm.