Natalia Bakhtadze Englaender

With more than 20 years of professional experience in tourism, Natalia is working currently only on sustainable approaches and ecotourism initiatives in Caucasus and abroad. She is leading as chairperson professional business association Georgian Ecotourism Association and the same time has since 2017 teaching position at Ilia State University

Publications: Practice based: How to create ecotourism products (Guidebook 2016), Nature in living culture (Storytelling brochure abut biodiversity of South Caucasus) and diverse tourism strategies for protected areas and regions in Georgia. Nature-Based Tourism Development as a Tool of Community Transformation from Communism to Capitalism: The Georgian Experience / Nato (Natalia) Bakhtadze Engländer & Nato Robitashvili - Tourism Development in Post-Soviet Nations - From Communism to Capitalism / 2020 ISBN : 978-3-030-30714-1



Andrey Medvedev

Scientific Researcher, GIS and Remote sensing department at Center for Ecological-Noosphere Studies National Academy of Sciences, RA.

Scientific interests: Cartography, geoinformatics and multimedia technologies as well as their application in various scientific disciplines. Specialization on the development of new methods in the field of visualization and organization of heterogeneous spatial data.  

Publications: Medvedev, A., Telnova, N. Alekseenko, N., Koshkarev, A., Kuznetchenko, P., Asmaryan, S., Narykov, A. (2020), UAV-Derived Data Application for Environmental Monitoring of the Coastal Area of Lake Sevan, Armenia with a Changing Water Level, 12(3821).DOI: 10.3390/rs12223821; Nef. T.G.& Med.A.A. (2020). 



Ioseb Khelashvili   

Professor, PhD in Social and Economic Geography with 15 years of academic experience in tourism and hospitality, with 20+ years of working as a diplomat and business consultant. Director of bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate’s educational programs in tourism and hospitality.

Publications: author of 30 publications among them: Rural tourism in Georgia in transition: Challenges for regional sustainability L Khartishvili, A Muhar, T Dax, I Khelashvili; Sustainability 11 (2), 410; Rural tourism in Georgia in Transition: Challenges for regional sustainability. Sustainability 11 (2): 410 L Khartishvili, A Muhar, T Dax, I Khelashvili; Rural tourism in Georgia in transition: Challenges for regional sustainability. Sustainability (Switzerland) L Khartishvili, A Muhar, T Dax, I Khelashvili; Social and economic challenges of sustainable tourism development in Georgia I. Khelashvili- International Scientific Conference: Challenges of Globalization


Lasha Sukhishvili


Ph.D., a Professor at Ilia State University in Georgia. Scientific interests: Geomorphology, remote sensing, hydrology, GIS. His primary research focuses on tectonic and fluvial geomorphology, as well as the modeling of geological and hydrological hazards. He frequently utilizes far and near remote sensing techniques, radar InSAR and GIS analyses, as tools for his research.

Publications: Sukhishvili, L., Forte, A., Merebashvili, G., Leonard, J., Whipple, K., Javakhishvili, Z., Godoladze, T. (2021). Active deformation and Plio Pleistocene fluvial reorganization of the western Kura fold-thrust belt, Georgia: Implications for the evolution of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Geological Magazine, 158(4), 583-597. doi:10.1017/S0016756820000709



Hakan Yiğitbaşıoğlu 

Graduated from Ankara State University and holds a Ph.D. in Physical Geography. He is a professor at the same university since 2005 and the Head of the Physical Geography Sub-department starting from 2001. Before that, Mr. Yiğitbaşıoğlu was the Head of the Social Environmental Sciences Sub-Department at the Social Sciences Institute of Ankara University, as well as the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Language and History and Geography at Ankara University.





Suren Arakelyan 

Director, GEORISK Scientific Research Company, CJS, Armenia Scientific interests: Natural hazard and risk assessment. In the last 20 years, specialized in GIS and remote-sensing applications in the field of environmental protection, assessment, and natural hazard processes monitoring. National expert for several UNDP projects in Armenia.
Publications: Arakelyan, S., Karakhanyan, A., Hovhannesyan, G., Babayan, H., Baghdasaryan, H., Gevorgyan, M., Arakelyan, A., Igityan, H., Babayan, S., (2019). GIS-based multi-risk assessment of potential losses and impact to key infrastructure induced by an earthquake scenario in the City of Kapan, Armenia. Proceedings of the Second Caucasus Mountain Forum, Caucasus Regional Research Agenda: Key to Sustainable Regional Development, 30 November to 1 December 2019, Ankara, Turkey; 



Mamuka Gvilava

Specialized in a wide range of environmental subjects with 20 years of experience with cooperative projects in the Caucasus and Black Sea eco-regions, and Europe. His expertise includes environmental and strategic (programmatic) impact assessments, environmental informatics (SDI, GIS and remote sensing, earth observations, data cube, hydrological and coastal models), green design and construction, nature-based solutions, climate change assessment and development of methodologies and practices in integrated coastal management. He serves as the National Focal Point on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM); Member of the ICZM Advisory Group to Black Sea Commission; Member of the working group developing EU’s Black Sea Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA), also Correspondence Contact for GEO Principle of Georgia, as well as Caucasus Spatial Data Infrastructure (C-SDI) Working Group Member and Focal Point, based in Georgia.



Kamran Shayesteh

Assistant professor at Malayer University Iran. Since 2015 he is the dean of Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment. He is the board member of the Iranian Association for Environmental Assessment, as well as the founding member of the Scientific Network for Caucasus Mountain Regions (SNC-mt) and its Scientific Steering Group. His research interests include land-use change analysis. landscape ecology, ecological economics, carrying capacity.

Since 2016 he is a member of the Caucasus Spatial Data Infrastructure (C-SDI) working group and Focal Point from Iran. With SNC-mt he has been involved in a number of projects including the project "Supporting Sustainable Mountain Development in the Caucasus" funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and an ongoing project "Strengthening Climate Adaptation Capacities" funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).


  Simon Allen 

Senior research associate at University of Geneva and University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Scientific Interests: Mountain geomorphology; flood and mass movement hazard and risk assessment; climate impacts and disasters; disaster risk reduction; climate change adaptation
Publications: Raetzo, H., Lateltin, O., Bollinger, D., Tripet, J.P. (2002). Hazard assessment in Switzerland: Codes of Practice for mass movements. Bull Eng Geol Ev 61: 263–268. Allen, S. K., Ballesteros-Canovas, J., Randhawa, S. S., Singha, A. K., Huggel C. and Stoffel, M. (2018). Translating the concept of climate risk into an assessment framework to inform adaptation planning: Insights from a pilot study of flood risk in Himachal Pradesh, Northern India. Environ. Sci. Policy, 87, 1–10, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2018.05



Irina Sikharulidze

Grow up and got her first education (Masters in Chemistry) Georgia. Late 90ies she migrated to Switzerland and obtained there her Master's in Mathematics. Following her further study of the Actuarial Sciences Irina gained the degree of the Qualified Actuary SAA. Currently, she is working as Senior Risk Manager in the insurance field, modelling and reviewing mathematical risk models. 
Scientific interests: quantitative risk management, natural catastrophe risk modelling, nonlife insurance risk, actuarial science