Introduction to the Mountain Regions’ Environment and Society


What are Mountain Areas? Basic definitions, morphological features - Why are mountains important? (Natural Resources, Energy, Biodiversity, Cultural Reserve) - Geotectonics and Orogenesis - Mountains and Climate - The most important mountains in the world - Mountainous Greece: i. Main mountains ii. Flora and Fauna iii. Historical and social development iiii. Mountain Cultures - Modern Mountain Greece: Opportunities and Problems - Policies for Mountain Areas (Organizations, Legislation, Development Plans: International and Greek experience).

The course introduces students to the natural and man-made environment of mountain areas as well as their history, social conditions and mountain policy issues. The definitions of both mountainous areas and the morphological elements of the mountains are examined. The importance of mountainous regions for the planet, which has been recognized since 1992 by the Rio World Conference, is analysed. The main mechanisms of orogenesis and the mountains of the world are presented during a large orogenetic period. The climate of mountainous areas is examined and the effect of altitude on temperature, sunlight, humidity, evaporation, precipitation is analysed. The effects of climate change on mountain areas are being reviewed. Then the characteristics of mountain societies are presented, such as adaptability to local conditions, rational management of natural resources, strong ties, etc. At the same time, the problems of mountain societies are emphasized (isolation, position of women, poverty). An overview of the historical development of mountainous Greece, from the years of colonization of mountainous areas during the 15th century until today and identifying key points in the historical and social development of these areas. In addition, a reference is made to the characteristics of important mountain groups in Greece. Finally, there is an overview of mountain policies at international level. As part of the course, a collective presentation work of a mountain group of the world takes place and is presented during the first week of the course. In addition, educational visits are made to mountain municipalities and individual work is carried out (evaluated) on real problems of the mountain municipalities which are the study areas.

Teaching Staff: