Mountain Societies Research Institute Annual Report 2015
In 2015, the Mountain Societies Research Institute (MSRI) strengthened its position as a core unit of the Graduate School of Development of the University of Central Asia (UCA) and as an internationally recognized agency engaged in research for development. Through its research, MSRI aims to enhance the resilience and quality of life of mountain societies in Central Asia.
MSRI continued to implement projects and programmes that actively partner with community members and a range of local institutions to co-generate and disseminate knowledge that can inform natural resource governance and management decisions. The development of Virtual Environmental Observatories (EVOs) in mountain regions and the operation of MSRI’s Mobile Digital Library, eBilim, are prime examples. Another important objective last year was to build regional capacities in sustainable development by supporting selected young and mid-career researchers from Central Asia and Afghanistan with strategic mentorship, training and research funding. Additionally, a project supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID) on management of pasture and water resource in sensitive border areas of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan was initiated, launching a new focal area for MSRI on transboundary natural resource management and conflict research. As part of its mission to translate research for development practitioners, MSRI equally engaged with policy makers through roundtables and the development of policy briefs.
As host for the Central Asian Mountain Hub and for the World Agroforestry Centre Central Asia Office, MSRI continues to enable and strengthen a wide range of development stakeholders in the region. MSRI’s Knowledge Hub also is being upgraded, an acclaimed interactive source of information on Central Asian environments and mountain societies and an interface for researchers, practitioners and policymakers to engage in development dialogue.