Where We Work
Himalayas, Andes and BeyondThe Mountain Institute (TMI) works hand-in-hand with remote mountain communities to address their most critical challenges. Our work revolves around three central themes: conserving mountain ecosystems, sustainable economic development and supporting unique mountain cultures. Since our founding in 1972, we have listened to the people who know mountains best — those who live there — and have worked closely with them to identify and implement solutions to improve their livelihoods and the health of their environments. The Mountain Institute works with academic and technical experts while also partnering with government and development agencies. Our programs now reach more than half a million people each year. Innovative approaches developed by TMI have spread to mountainous countries around the world.
Since 1996 The Mountain Institute has worked in the world’s longest mountain range. Our inclusive approach bridges sustainable development, modern science and traditional knowledge. We help Andean communities become more resilient as they adapt to climate change. As partners, we create more sustainable mountain economies while protecting ancient cultures and fragile ecosystems.
Since the mid-1980s The Mountain Institute has worked in the world’s highest mountains, strengthening communities and helping them become more resilient in the face of climate change. From glacial lake monitoring and establishing protected areas to training farmers and restoring ancient monastaries, we have pioneered approaches in the Himalayas that have been adopted and used successfully in mountainous regions worldwide.
Our Mountain Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) Program is expanding EbA work started in flagship sites in the Himalayas (Nepal), Mount Elgon (Uganda) and the Andes (Peru). We seek to support the EbA approach being adopted in neighboring Bhutan, Kenya and Colombia. This program will benefit local people directly, as well as the millions downstream who depend on the water and other benefits that come from mountains.
In the Western USA we are working with indigenous peoples seeking to preserve ancient traditions while protecting their sacred land. Our collaborative approach enables productive relationships with government agencies and other stakeholders. We strive to integrate the perspectives of Native Americans while also reinvigorating traditional practices at culturally important sites.
Not enough is being done on a global scale to protect mountain environments and support mountain communities. Perhaps due to their remoteness and seemingly immutable nature, mountains do not receive the attention they deserve given their essential role in providing water for billions and regulating the world’s climate. The Mountain Institute is playing an active role to ensure that mountain peoples, cultures and ecosystems are recognized in the global sustainable development policy agenda.