UCA News - Issue 113

Date: 16 January 2012
Other languages: Русский язык |

University of Central Asia receives special library collection from eminent Russian scientist

The University of Central Asia (UCA) received a gift of 700 publications related to research on mountain regions of Central Asia, the Caucasus and other regions of the world. The collection was donated by renowned mountain geographer and researcher Dr Yuri Badenkov of the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. The books and journals were collected by Dr Badenkov over the course of decades of his own research on sustainable mountain development issues around the world, including Central Asia, North Eurasia and the Caucasus.

Dr. Badenkov has been a strategic pillar and supporter of UCA since 1995 when he served as a member of the University's planning Commission on the Establishment of an International Institution of Higher Education, made up of distinguished international and regional members. The Commission assessed the need for a regional university and conceptualized UCA as a new model for higher education to strengthen Central Asian scholarship and attract international, regional, and local resources to enable the people of Central Asia to address their own economic and cultural challenges.

After a 2000 field mission to Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan to identify and select locations for UCA campuses, Dr Badenkov and fellow Commission member Professor Fred Starr, proposed Naryn and Tekeli as future campus sites. This proposal was then approved by UCA's Founders. More recently, in June 2011, Dr Badenkov participated in the International Symposium on Pastoralism in Central Asia: Status, Challenges and Opportunities in Mountain Areas in the Kyrgyz Republic, co-hosted by UCA's Mountain Societies Research Centre and the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South.

On donating the collection, Dr Badenkov said “I very much hope that students and tutors of the University of Central Asia will be able to use these publications for their benefit. I am convinced of the University’s great future and contribution to sustainable development and prosperity of mountain peoples in Central Asia and other regions of the world.”

The Yuri Badenkov Collection spans 60 years of publications on mountain regions, including books and journals in Russian, English and Central Asian languages, written by Central Asian, Russian and international authors. The volumes address a wide range of topics, including natural resource management, geography, geology, rural and mountain development, mountain agriculture, poverty alleviation, fauna, natural disasters and conservation efforts. The Collection will be catalogued by UCA’s Knowledge Management Unit and housed in the UCA Mountain Societies Research Centre, where it will be accessible to scholars and practitioners.

Dr Badenkov was born in 1937 in Moscow. Educated at Moscow and Leningrad Universities, he received his candidate in geology from the University of Friendship, Moscow, where he lectured and researched geochemistry of Central Asia. From 1970 to 1980, Dr Badenkov led the Geochemistry Laboratory at the Pacific Institute of Geography of the Far East Research Centre at the USSR Academy of Science in Vladivostok. He then joined the Institute of Geography at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, as Deputy Director and Head of the Mountain Laboratory. He has since been involved in critical research and advocacy efforts to call attention to mountain regions, including the UNESCO MAB Project 6 Mountain Ecosystems in the USSR/Russia; the United Nations Development Programme/Global Environment Facility Altai-Sayan eco-region project for transboundary diagnostic analysis; and the international Mountain Agenda 21 group which initiated inclusion of the Mountain Chapter 13 into the Agenda 21 by the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, 1992.

Dr Badenkov served as Vice-President of the International Mountain Society. He currently serves as the Focal Point for Mountain Partnership in Russia, and is Leader of the Mountain MAB-6 Group, a member of the Mountain Partnership. Most recently, his research has focused on sustainable mountain development and Altai transboundary development and conservation issues, as well as climate change and adaptation phenomena in Altai-Sayan-Baikal, the great intra-continental divide of Asia. From 2006-2009, he was a member of the International Advisory Committee for Biosphere Reserves under UNESCO's Director General. Dr Badenkov is an Honorary Board Member of Mountain Research and Development, the Journal of the International Mountain Society, and a member of the International Advisory Boards of ERDKUNDE, the Archive for Scientific Geography and The Mountain Institute (USA). During his esteemed career, Dr Badenkov has published over 300 research papers.

University of Central Asia’s Mountain Societies Research Centre (MSRC) is a university-wide, interdisciplinary research centre dedicated to addressing the challenges and opportunities within Central Asian mountain communities and environments. The MSRC’s goal is to support and enhance the resilience and quality of life of mountain societies through sound research on the sustainable development and management of their physical, social, economic and cultural assets. For more information: http://msrc.ucentralasia.org/