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University of Central Asia logo : blue rhombus with shadings of blue shaped as mountains

The Graduate School of Development’s Mountain Societies Research Institute (MSRI) conducts research for development with the goal to improve the well-being of mountain societies in Central Asia.

MSRI has five objectives:

  • To generate knowledge on mountain societies through original scientific research;
  • To serve as a knowledge hub for scholars, development practitioners, and policy makers;
  • To enhance regional capacity to conduct sound research relevant to mountain societies;
  • To inform policy and practice through engagement with key development partners;
  • To disseminate knowledge among mountain stakeholders, including the co-development and co-teaching of UCA’s academic programmes.

MSRI conducts trans-disciplinary research to help inform and contribute to the Sustainable Mountain Development agenda in Central Asia. MSRI’s integrated approach to research with and for the benefit of mountain societies demands an understanding of both social and ecological factors operating at multiple spatial and temporal scales.

MSRI’s primary concern is the wellbeing of people and communities residing in mountain areas, and the major factors and drivers affecting their livelihoods, economies and environments.

Research Themes

Core research themes include:

  • Natural resources, their governance and management
  • Land systems and livelihoods, including food security
  • Social dynamics including migration and conflicts over natural resources
  • Disaster risk reduction and management
  • Biodiversity conservation

MSRI’s cross-cutting research includes the following themes:

  • Climate change and globalisation
  • Regional and intra-community development disparities
  • Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

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