Caucasus Mountain Forum 2016

The Caucasus is a unique mountain region situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, between the Caspian and Black Seas. Home to fifty ethnic groups speaking forty languages, the region has a rich and diverse cultural history and heritage. The Caucasus is also known as one of the world’s most significant and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life. The Caucasus mountain ranges naturally draw together the six countries of the region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Russian Federation, Turkey). Indeed, efforts to address sustainable development challenges related to poverty reduction, social protection, and environmental quality have a long history.

In an effort to build on this history of cooperation, knowledge creators and brokers of the wider Caucasus region initiated the Scientific Network for the Caucasus Mountain Region (SNC-mt) in 2013. SNC-mt is an open network of researchers and other stakeholders interested in disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and collaboration, building research capacity in the Caucasus region and linking research to the needs of sustainable development and environmental protection.

The Caucasus Mountain Forum (CMF) is one of SNC-mt's flagship initiatives. Other activities include the development of an online platform for scientists and practitioners, the elaboration of an up-to-date regional outlook and research agenda, the organization of a regional summer school for graduate students, and the coordination of a feasibility study for a regional spatial data infrastructure.

CMF 2016 Objectives

The concrete and timely regional context of the Caucasus provides a major motivation for organizing a regional forum for different stakeholders working on the Caucasus mountain region. The Forum will serve as an important opportunity for scientists and academics, governmental experts, and practitioners to meet, exchange views on opportunities and challenges, and thereby seek to enhance (sub)-regional dialogue and contribute to the better coordination of sustainable development in the Caucasus region.

Sustainable mountain development (SMD) is understood to: relate to a wide spectrum of sectoral topics; require the mobilization and linking of diverse scientific disciplines; concern actors from the public, private, and non-governmental spheres; have implications for intergenerational equity and justice; and crucially benefit from the involvement of practitioners and decision makers from local to global levels.

The objectives of the Caucasus Mountain Forum are to:

  • share the latest scientific findings on SMD in the Caucasus

  • link research, policy-making and practice in the field of sustainable mountain development;

  • showcase scientifically informed, practical actions leading towards sustainability in the Caucasus mountain region;

  • provide a forum for endorsing a joint regional scientific research agenda on mountains; and

  • increase the visibility of the Caucasus region, in particular at the global level

Target Audience

Scientists and academics, governmental experts and practitioners, donors, international experts, local communities/interested general public, etc., in particular from countries of the wider Caucasus region.

Approximate number of participants: Up to 150, with public lectures linked to the Forum that can accommodate an audience of 500.

Organizing Committee

  • Joseph Salukvadze, Tbilisi State University (Co-Chair)

  • David Tarkhnishvili, Ilia State University (Co-Chair)

  • Jörg Balsiger, University of Geneva

  • Armen Gevorgyan, Armenian National Academy of Sciences

  • Raisa Gracheva, Russian Academy of Sciences

  • Matthias Jurek, United Nations Environment Programme

  • Ramiz Mammadov, Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences

  • Nina Shatberashvili, Caucasus Network for Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions

  • Kamran Shayesteh, Malayer University

  • Mehmed Somuncu, Ankara University

  • Hakan Yiǧitbaᶊioǧlu, Ankara University