MARGISTAR blogs highlight Country Focus insights, featured projects, press releases, and project news. These blogs are the best way to stay up-to-date on MARGISTAR's latest efforts in transforming marginalised mountainous regions. The ideas and topics presented in MARGISTAR's blogs are a part of the collaborative effort to bring real-world solutions to the problem of sustainability.

The SIMRA Project: Enhancing Social Innovation in Marginalised (Mountainous) Rural Areas

By Ivana Zivojinovic and Isidora Dabic (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna)  The Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (SIMRA) project, funded by...

Helping rural Ireland reimagine a more prosperous future for their towns and villages

By Dr Michelle Cowley-Cunningham and Antonia Egli (Dublin City University) Rural development creates vibrant environments with improved economic opportunities for people to live and work....

Living Labs: Facilitators in Fostering Innovation in Marginalised Mountain Areas

By Klaus Wagner, Ingrid Machold, and Somaye Latifi (Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research (BAB), Vienna) The number of challenges that mountains...

Mountaineering Villages: An Initiative of the Austrian Alpine Association for Sustainable Mountain Tourism 

Mountain areas attract outstanding numbers of tourists. After beaches and islands, they act as the second most demanded outdoor destination for tourism activities. Where agriculture has long been the main source of income and entire areas are characterised by outmigration, tourism has sustainably improved and transformed the working and living conditions of local populations. Based on work being done in Austria, this blog shares insights into how promoting tourism activities in so-called Mountaineering Villages as a means of income diversification beyond traditional sectors can pose as an effective solution in marginalised mountain areas. 

Céad Míle Fáilte: MARGISTAR Meets in Ireland for the COST Action’s Second General Assembly 

On April 17 and 18, the Irish Institute of Digital Business (IIDB) at Dublin City University (DCU) welcomed international researchers from the MARGISTAR COST Action to the project's second annual General Assembly in Dublin. Prof Theo Lynn, Prof Colm O'Gorman, and Antonia Egli represent Ireland within the MARGISTAR consortium and lead the Action's Science Communications team. Over two days, consortium members focused on strategies to further progress MARGISTAR during the second grant period and met with stakeholders in Ireland to understand how different communities were seeking to address issues through rural town regeneration, digitisation, re-afforestation, or diversifying agriculture.  

Revitalising Marginalised Mountain Areas through Green Care 

Given the many potentials and challenges of mountainous areas, diversifying sources of income through Green Care can present sustainable opportunities for marginalised mountain communities. In Austria, expanding product portfolios in the agricultural and forestry sectors is a viable strategy of agricultural and forestry enterprises and smallholders to ensure economic sustainability.

A Deep Dive into Supporting Resilience of Mountain Farming in Austria

Mountain areas form a significant part of Austria, covering 70% of its territory and hosting 56% of all its farms. Austrian mountains, however, are also often classified as disadvantaged regions due to topographical and climatic factors. Farming in these high-elevation areas presents challenges, but also yields quality products vital for sustaining local cultures. In the face of economic challenges, policy support and off-farm activities have significantly improved living conditions for mountain farm households. Read on to better understand how policy-making can positively impact mountain farming and its role in sustaining cultural landscapes and providing employment in Austria's mountainous regions.

Celebrating Digital Innovation: The .ie Digital Town Awards

From revitalising town centres to propelling sustainability initiatives, digital technology serves as a catalyst for positive change. In support of these developments, the .ie Digital Town Awards in Ireland honour the strides made by communities across the country in embracing digital innovation. With significant investment and political support, these awards highlight the transformative power of digital in diverse spheres of life, starting from their potential to enhance connectivity to their role in revolutionising agricultural practices. As we celebrate the achievements of digital pioneers in Ireland with “.ie” - the country’s official registry of .ie domain names – we are reminded that innovation knows no bounds and inspires communities to embrace the possibilities of the digital age. 

MARGISTAR’s Science Communication is Levelling Up: Meet our SciComm Sub-Group!

We're thrilled to announce MARGISTAR’s latest addition to the project: our brand new Science Communication Team. With diverse backgrounds ranging from seasoned scientists to digital marketing and emerging tech aficionados, we're dedicated to making complex research accessible to all. Through blogs, social media, and an array of upcoming events, we aim to inform and inspire action for marginalised mountain regions. Read on for a short intro to our Science Communication Sub-Group members!

An Introduction to Risovac, a Marginalised Location in the Heart of Grmeč

Risovac is a remote village that was named for its abundance of wild cats, locally known as ‘ris.’ It is a hidden place in Bosnia and Herzegovina, its natural beauty preserved at the far northwestern end of Petrovačko Polje in the Grmeč mountains and a ways off the bumpy road from Bosanski Petrovac to Bosanska Krupa. Join MARGISTAR’s Dr Violeta Santrač as she begins her fieldwork and recently launched project to better understand this small, remote, and marginalised village.