View of Stepantsminda in Kazbegi municipality. Image credit: Annina Michel

When Switzerland meets Georgia: Exploring challenges to sustainable mountain development in the Caucasus

Written by Annina Michel (on behalf of the UZH team)

In spring 2022, the project team from UZH was able to visit Georgia (and TSU) for an extended project meeting. The team was welcomed by Dr. Tamar Dolbaia, Dean of Social and Political Sciences at TSU, and was able to meet with Nina Shatberashvili from the Caucasus Network for Sustainable Development of Mountain Region to learn about ongoing projects. During our stay, we were able to go on a three-day field trip to Kazbegi municipality and experienced tourism development first hand in the borough of Stepantsminda. Besides receiving insights in tourism and nature conservation projects, we learned a lot about current geo-political contexts while visiting Dariali gorge. Besides gaining new knowledge of local and regional characteristics, processes and challenges that we will be able to pass on to course participants in our joint module at UZH and TSU, we experienced the wonderful Georgian culture - particularly its cuisine. Discussing research and planning a study course works way better with a daily dose of Khachapuri and Khinkali! The TSU team were wonderful hosts and our heartfelt thanks go to Gvantsa, Temur, and Soso for welcoming us and planning such a perfect trip. 

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