Second Caucasus Mountain Forum 2019

On 30 October – 1 November 2019 the Second Caucasus Mountain Forum (CMF) was held in Ankara, Turkey, gathering about 200 participants from the six countries of the Caucasus Ecoregion, as well as from Austria, Estonia, Italy, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Norway United Kingdom, Ukraine, etc. The Second CMF was hosted by Ankara University, Department of Geography.

This year CMF was aligned with the Caucasus Regional Research Agenda (C-RRA) thematic chapters. Moreover, the CMF formally approved the C-RRA and discussed its future application both for strengthening science-policy interface and research for development. The purpose of C-RRA is to establish a collaborative process for identifying the current state of knowledge in core issue areas related to sustainable mountain development in the Caucasus region, key challenges and opportunities, and priority gaps for scientific research and development.

The participants were welcomed by Mehmet Somuncu (Director of Centre for Environmental Studies and Head of Department of Geography at Ankara University), Erkan IbiƟ (Rector of Ankara University) and Werner Thut (Deputy Regional Director South Caucasus, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation). Opening presentations also were delivered by Martin Price (UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Mountain Development) and Joseph Salukvadze, Human Geography Department of Tbilisi State University, who presented the C-RRA.

The plenary speeches were delivered by Olga Solomina (Director of the Institute of Geography of Russian Academy of Science), Nuzhet Dalfes (Earth System Science at the Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences of Istanbul Technical University), Matthias Jurek (Programme Management Officer at UN Environment), Ihor Soloviy (Department for Ecological Economics, Ukrainian National Forestry University), Benedikt Ibele (Environmental Programme South Caucasus (ECOserve), GIZ), Christian Baumgartner (University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons, Vice-President, International Commission for the Protection of the Alps - CIPRA), Natalia Bakhtadze-Engländer (Ilia State University, Advisor of Georgia’s Ecotourism Association).

The forum was organized within the framework of the “Strengthening Climate Adaptation Capacities in South Caucasus (SCAC)” project with finding from Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the United Nations Environment Programme.

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