Project

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SMD in Caucasus mountain regions: Study course

English title SMD in Caucasus mountain regions: Study course
Applicant Herweg Karl
Number 160529
Funding scheme SCOPES
Research institution Zentrum für Entwicklung und Umwelt Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Social geography and ecology
Start/End 01.05.2015 - 30.11.2018
Approved amount 194'220.00
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Keywords (7)

transdisciplinary teaching concepts and tools; Caucasus region; village-based projects; Sustainable Mountain Development; dissemination of teaching concepts and tools ; participatory curriculum development; field exposure

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
This SCOPES Institutional Partnership (IP) aims at capacity development in university teaching.
Lay summary

The IP will develop methods to improve teaching capacity, and on this basis, develop and conduct study courses on Sustainable Mountain Development (SMD). Study course approaches will be tested and implemented within field studies. Practical education of students will take place in local mountain contexts with the participation of the local population. The three partner universities see their consortium as a “win-win” cooperation for SMD education between a university focused on teaching (Department of Physical Geography, Armenian State Pedagogical University (ASPU), a geography faculty specialised in planning (Department for regional geography and landscape planning, Iv. Djavakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU) and a university centre with extensive experience in international development cooperation in research and education (Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Switzerland). 

The main thematic blocs of the study course will be:

  • Fundamentals of Sustainable Development (SD)

  • SD in mountain regions of the Caucasus: Success stories and challenges

  • Resource governance versus rational use of natural resources in the transition context

  • Land management and livelihoods

  • Decentralization and development

  • Field exposure as a crucial step within the study course 

The specific niche chosen for the development of these applied study courses are issues focusing on the sustainable management of natural resources and local livelihoods in Caucasus mountain regions. The applicability of the study course developed during this IP will be tested through village-based field-study modules attended by students of the three partner universities. As a crucial step for scaling up, CDE and its partners will draw on their 20 years of experience in developing partnerships with universities in the East. This experience gained in SDC programmes in the Central Asian and Caucasus regions will be crucial for implementing a follow-up strategy focusing on capacity development for young scientists. 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 22.05.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Fundamentals of applied Geography, Tbilisi 2016 Published by: universal@internet.ge Основы прикладной географии (502 страницы), из которых 40 страницы переведены на Англииский язык (Fundamentals of
Nodar Elizbarashvili (2016), Fundamentals of applied Geography, Tbilisi 2016 Published by: universal@internet.ge Основы прикладной географии (502 страницы), из которых 40 страницы переведены на Англииский язык (Fundamentals of, Tbilisi 2016 Published by: universal@internet.ge, Tbilisi Georgia.
Initial Stage of Modern Demo Geographic Crisis in Racha (Central Caucasus Mountains, Oni Municipality), для публикаций в журнале: Scientific Article - in Review process: in peer reviewed Journal “Mou
Thomas Kohler Heino Meessen Nodar Elizbarashvili Giorgi Meladze David Svanadze, Initial Stage of Modern Demo Geographic Crisis in Racha (Central Caucasus Mountains, Oni Municipality), для публикаций в журнале: Scientific Article - in Review process: in peer reviewed Journal “Mou, in Mountain Research and Development, 2017.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
CDE, Instiute of Geography Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
Armenian State Pedagogical University Armenia (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Tbilisi State University Georgia (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
The 2017 EUROGEO Annual Meeting and Conference was organized in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on 2-3 March 2017. EUROGEO 2017: Key challenges for geographical education Talk given at a conference University teaching: innovative Curricula Development on TD Research Methods: Study Course on Sustainable Mountain Development in the Caucasus Mountain Regions 02.03.2017 Amsterdam, Netherlands Khoetsyan Ashot;


Abstract

SCOPES Institutional Partnership (IP)Study course on Sustainable Mountain Development and resource governance in the Caucaus regionThis SCOPES Institutional Partnership (IP) aims at capacity development in university teaching. The IP will develop methods to improve teaching capacity, and on this basis, develop and conduct study courses on Sustainable Mountain Development (SMD). A university network will be established by IP partners jointly working on these issues.Study course approaches will be tested and implemented within field studies. Practical education of students will take place in local mountain contexts with the participation of the local population. The three partner universities see their consortium as a “win-win” cooperation for SMD education between a university focused on teaching (Department of Physical Geography, Armenian State Pedagogical University (ASPU), a geography faculty specialised in planning (Department for regional geography and landscape planning, Iv. Djavakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU) and a university centre with extensive experience in international development cooperation in research and education (Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Switzerland).The main thematic blocs of the study course will be: •Fundamentals of Sustainable Development (SD)•SD in mountain regions of the Caucasus: Success stories and challenges•Resource governance versus rational use of natural resources in the transition context•Land management and livelihoods •Decentralization and development•Field exposure as a crucial step within the study course Through this thematic structure, the IP will help move disciplinary curricula and teaching modules towards applied and participatory teaching with direct links to practice. The specific niche chosen for the development of these applied study courses are issues focusing on the sustainable management of natural resources and local livelihoods in Caucasus mountain regions. The applicability of the study course developed during this IP will be tested through village-based field-study modules attended by students of the three partner universities. As a crucial step for scaling up, CDE and its partners will draw on their 20 years of experience in developing partnerships with universities in the East. This experience gained in SDC programmes in the Central Asian and Caucasus regions will be crucial for implementing a follow-up strategy focusing on capacity development for young scientists. Expected ResultsConcrete outputs of the IP will be didactic guidelines, teaching materials, individual exercises, and a participatory field study module, all printed in a textbook. The following specific steps for reaching these expected results have been jointly defined by the three partner universities on the basis of a partnership approach:Year 1:•Jointly identify specific parts of curricula into which to integrate the IP’s study course on SMD at the partner universities of Erevan and Tbilisi •Draft a concept for promoting the introduction of “action research” and transdisciplinarity into curricula Years 2 & 3:•Adapt and test draft study course modules within existing curricula of the Caucasus partner universities•Organize field exposure for teaching staff and students during specific village-based modules •Strengthen the IP and human resource development through participation of students of the Caucasus university network, specifically in the field-study modules held during the summers of years 2 and 3•Establish an education-to-policy dialogue, promoting SMD as an integral part of spatial and landscape planning related to university education and practiceThe following proposals for possible thematic blocs intend to link mountain development with sustainable economic and human development, landscape planning, and nature conservation. Key questions have been formulated by the partner universities:Land management and livelihoods •What are the current status and drivers of land and resource management and local livelihoods in partner countries? Decentralization and development•What is the legal and institutional framework relevant for landscape planning and land management for each Caucasus country involved?•What is the status of the ongoing decentralization process related to land management and livelihoods in the Caucasian countries, and how can it be supported down to the needs of the raijon and the community level? Communication strategy and dissemination •How can the innovative approach of the study course be communicated and “translated” into a language for policymakers?•How can the approach be disseminated to promote transdisciplinary teaching approaches for decentralized and sustainable mountain development in the academic and planning institutions of the Caucasus republics? •How can more practical and participatory curricula development be promoted?
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