UCA’s MSRC & Mountain Partnership Central Asia Hub launch knowledge hub and new publications at Dushanbe CAMP Forum

Date: 22 October 2012
Other languages: Русский язык |

The University of Central Asia’s Mountain Societies Research Centre (MSRC) and Mountain Partnership launched new resources and sought feedback from participants at the CAMP Forum on Sustainable Development of Central Asian Mountain Regions 2012 in Dushanbe on 4 - 6 October 2012, where discussions focused on Sustainable Land Management (SLM): Up-scaling Benefits for Rural Communities.

MSRC launched its Knowledge Hub; an interactive source of information on Central Asian mountain societies and an interface for researchers, practitioners and policymakers at the Forum hosted at the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe. It includes the MSRC Library, Experts Database, information on SLM (key actors, events, resources and publications), and links to resources on Central Asian mountain societies and project-specific information from MSRC’s partners. CAMP Forum participants registered for Hub access, uploaded biographical details in the Expert Database, and recommended materials and features to be added.

The Hub was created by UCA’s Knowledge Management (KM) Unit, using free, open-source technology to create a dynamic platform, extensive library database, an advanced search function with multiple filters to aid users to locate specific information, and plans to add an e-learning platform among other tools to engage all Hub visitors.

MSRC is constantly seeking to add to, and make accessible, the body of Central Asian knowledge on mountain societies. We expect the Knowledge Hub to be an effective and dynamic tool in that process,” said Dr Horst Weyerhauser, Director, MSRC.

Jyldyz Shigaeva, MSRC Research Fellow, leading CAMP Forum participants in a feedback session on a draft background paper on sustainable land management.

At an exclusive pre-launch event, MSRC distributed the special issue of the journal Mountain Research and Development on Central Asian Mountain Societies in Transition, guest-edited by MSRC researchers. MSRC plans to launch a Russian version soon. MSRC and Mountain Partnership (MP) also provided a Russian version of the Sustainable Mountain Development in Central Asia: From Rio 1992 to Rio 2012 and Beyond report, developed by MP, MSRC and the Zoi Network with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

MSRC researchers Jyldyz Shigaeva, Bettina Wolfgramm and Chad Dear facilitated a special session to introduce and seek feedback on preliminary findings of a background paper on Sustainable Land Management in Central Asian Mountain Areas. The paper will include analysis of empirical Russian and English-language literature to assess the state of knowledge and identify critical gaps in knowledge on sustainable land management, and make recommendations for applied research. Participants suggested research priorities, ideas for linking research, implementation and policy, and additional literature.

Visiting MSRC Research Fellow Ailey Hughes presented her research on women's rights to land and natural resources in Kyrgyzstan.  Her research was conducted in Naryn, Batken, Chuy, and Jalalabad Oblasts.

MP facilitated a two-hour strategic planning session with 20 of its member institutions from the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Dagestan and Altai Republic of Russia, and MSRC. Since 2008, the number of MP members from Central Asia has doubled. As MP continues its process of institutional development and decentralization, two activities were conducted: 1) A joint review of tools and instruments to assess member contributions, with the goal of enriching regional and local platforms serving mountain communities and facilitating joint initiatives; and 2) An inventory of member needs and demands, which was last done in 2008, was updated, to better enable the Hub and its members to mutually address them.

The Mountain Societies Research Centre (MSRC) was launched in 2011 as the first of several planned centres within University of Central Asia.  MSRC generates and promotes the application of sound research on sustainable mountain development in Central Asia. MSRC is also the host of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat's Decentralized Hub for Central Asia. For more information, visit: http://msrc.ucentralasia.org

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