Highland-lowland relationships and their importance for sustainable development in mountain regions:
This study takes a historical perspective of highland-lowland relationships in the mountains of the world. Central to this perspective is the mobility of people, goods, and capital, which follow temporal constellations of power between the different interests at high and low altitudes. We place these relationships within the framework of scientific, political, and civil-society discourses, which have significantly changed the perception and assessment of mountain areas on a global and regional scale – particularly since the Rio Earth Summit of 1992. A new, partnership-based understanding has emerged, but to what extent is it being implemented in institutions created to strengthen the position of mountain areas? Our findings show that many of these arrangements are still missing what we consider a prerequisite for a sustainable development strategy: encounters that take place on an equal footing.