Matthias Jurek (UNEP), Lawrence Hislop and Ieva Rucevska (both from GRID-Arendal) have been attending meetings with scientific representatives from Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan, with whom they discussed the creation of a regional network of practitioners that could work together to get an increased understanding of mountain environmental issues in the region.
GRID-Arendal’s previous work in the region was presented, and the HICAP Himalayas project was given as an example of scientific network that successfully cooperates under difficult political/regional conditions.
Outputs from the meeting resulted in a signed declaration from all parties who agreed to: support the process and set up an informal Ad Hoc Working Group, identify relevant actors and a suitable mechanism, explore possible appropriate institutional arrangements with long-term perspective, and develop a common vision and road map towards the establishment of a scientific network in the Caucasus mountain region.
As a follow-up, partners will seek out funding to allow the network to create a jointly produced output (Atlas or Outlook report) focussing on mountain issues in the region.
Cover photo: Ieva Rucevska, Project Manager for Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, Capacity Building & Assessment Programme, GRID-Arendal, delivers a presentation during the regional meeting. © Lawrence Hislop
Above photo: Partners during the regional meeting. © Lawrence Hislop