The theme of this issue is accessibility, a term that is open to broad interpretation. This became evident to MRD's editorial staff as we conducted the process of soliciting articles for the Development section. Abstracts submitted covered topics that would not immediately spring to mind when thinking of accessibility. The result is a cross-section of contributions that shed light on development in mountain regions from some unexpected and valuable perspectives.
Benjamin Karumuna deals with a very classical aspect of accessibility—roads and bridges—but also shows how this is linked to poverty alleviation and social services in Tanzania, including raising awareness about HIV/AIDS. Pascal C. Sanginga, Rupert Best, Colletah Chitsike, Robert Delve, Susan Kaaria, and Roger Kirkby next discuss an innovative approach to developing market opportunities for smallholders in Uganda, Malawi, and Tanzania. Ian Pringle, Utpal Bajracharya, and Anuradha Bajracharya address the increasingly important issue of information and communication technologies, focusing on the role of ICTs in improving skills and opportunities for the poor and otherwise marginalized in Nepal. Irasema Alcántara-Ayala, Marlene López-Mendoza, Guillermo Melgarejo-Palafox, Roberto C. Borja-Baez, and Ruben Acevo-Zarate look at a native language communication tool designed to increase access to prevention and mitigation of natural disasters. Sezgin Özden, Erdogan Atmis, and Kayhan Menemencioglu report on the negative environmental and social impacts of tourist accessibility in the highlands of Turkey, while Mehmet Somuncu and Ahmet Inci discuss an award-winning project for overcoming inaccessibility and promoting social and economic development in a very remote mountain region of Turkey.
The Research section also covers aspects of accessibility, among other topics. Jawad Ali and Tor A. Benjaminsen discuss deforestation in Pakistan as a result of market-driven access to timber. Hilary Lindh and Kathy Martin address the need to ensure conservation in response to spatial and economic accessibility in a Canadian resort community. Raymond Chipeniuk looks at amenity migration in Canada's British Columbian mountain communities as a form of access resulting from decreasing economic constraints. Simon Odermatt evaluates case studies from mountain communities in developing and industrialized countries in the framework of a model for sustainable development. He Xiubin, Keli Tang, and Xinbao Zhang discuss long-term soil erosion dynamics on China's Loess Plateau, while Wen Jun, Su Zhongbo, and Ma Yaoming report on a technique for achieving a cloud-free vegetation index on the Tibetan Plateau. Finally, Getachew Tesfaye, Demel Teketay, Yoseph Assefa, and Masresha Fetene report on the impact of fire on scarce forest resources in Ethiopia, and the need for fire protection methods to preserve forest species.
The contents of this issue reflect the varied dimensions of accessibility in mountain regions. We believe that MRD's readers, and the wider community of individuals and organizations concerned with mountain issues, will find the approaches and the information presented here not only elucidating but also useful for their own practical purposes.