Virtual Conference

Conference Video Recordings

Session 1

Session 1

Integrated Landscape Management and EcoAgriculture in the Caucasus
Session 2

Session 2

Socio-Cultural Approach in the Caucasus
Session 3

Session 3

Adoption of PPGIS and 3D PPGIS in the Caucasus
Session 4

Session 4

Student Conference

About the Conference

Within the framework of the GAtES Project, a virtual conference Public Participation for Ecosystem Services was held on October 4-6, 2021.

The conference explored the following topics: 

  • Integrated landscape management and eco-agriculture 
  • Sustainable landscapes and the socio-ecological approach 
  • 3D technologies in public participation and urban green infrastructure planning


Each session began with an international expert as a keynote speaker followed by a panel discussion. The last half-day of the conference was dedicated to young professionals and researchers.

The conference was open to researchers, students, and civil society representatives from the Caucasus region and interested participants from around the world. 



Day 1 -- October 4

16:00 AMT (14:00 PM CET) 

Welcome and introductions


16:30 AMT (14:30 CET; 8:30 AM US East Coast) 

Keynote 1 (40 minutes + 20min Q&A)

Speaker: Sara Scherr, EcoAgriculture Partners, Oakton, Virginia, U.S. 

Topic: Integrated Landscape Management and Ecoagriculture: An Inclusive Approach to Sustainable Development

Questions that would interest an Armenian policy audience: How do we ensure economic growth that is socially inclusive and environmentally caring? What policy, legal, and institutional changes are needed? What roles for policy-making, civil society, the private sector? Are there special technologies or know-how required? How can we initiate integrated landscape management and how can it be sustained in the long run?




17:30 AMT (15:30 PM CET)

Panel 1 (60 min + 15 min Q&A)

Theme: Integrated Landscape Management and EcoAgriculture in the Caucasus

Moderator: Alen Amirkhanian, Director, Acopian Center for the Environment, AUA


  1. Arman Khojoyan, Deputy Minister of  Ministry of Economy of Armenia
  2. Anna Mazmanyan, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Environment of Armenia
  3. Hovik Sayadyan, Sustainable Land Use Adviser at The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
  4. Narine Avetyan, Head of Territorial (Capital) Programs Support and Solid Waste Management Department, Territorial Administration and Infrastructures of RA


18:45 AMT (16:45 PM CET)

Closing remarks (5-10 minutes)


Day 2 -- October 5

13:00 AMT (11:00 CET)

Opening Remarks (5 minutes)


13:05 AMT (11:05 CET)

Keynote 2 

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Joern Fischer, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany

Topic: Sustainable Landscapes and the Socio-Ecological Approach: Potentials and Challenges of Participatory Research in Post-Communist Romania 

Questions to be addressed could include: What is the value of a socio-ecological approach that connects biodiversity conservation, improvement of livelihoods and other issues at landscape scale? How can researchers and local communities successfully work together, what prerequisites are needed and what formats are helpful throughout the different stages of the process? How can scientific research have real, short/medium-term social and environmental impact?




14:00 AMT (12:00 CET)

Panel 2

Theme: Socio-Cultural Approach in the Caucasus

Moderator: Prof. Dr. Claudia Bieling, Institute of Social Sciences in Agriculture, University of Hohenheim 


  1. Tigran Keryan, Researcher at Global Options and Linkages
  2. Karen Manvelyan, Director of WWF Armenia
  3. Lisa Hoentzsch, Adviser at ECOserve, The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
  4. Nune Sarukhanyan, President at Green Lane Agricultural Assistance NGO


15:15 AMT (13:15 CET)

Break (15 minutes)


15:30 AMT (13:30 CET)

Keynote 3 

Speaker: Prof. Nora Fagerholm, University of Turku, Finland

Topic: Urban Landscapes and Green Infrastructure: Impact of 3D Public Participation GIS

Questions to be addressed could include: How can such technologies be used to create impact at the community level? For instance, what landscapes and urban green infrastructures offer in terms of ecosystem services and nature-based solutions the benefits of which communities value (e.g., human wellbeing)? How do these tools help with better environmental planning, e.g., better conceptualizing and planning the urban/nonurban landscape continuum? How effective are these tools for a  transdisciplinary approach, integrating urban dwellers and multiple stakeholders? How new techs can be applied to participatory methods in order to create an impact in decision making and management at a community level?




16:30 AMT (14:30 CET)

Panel 3

Theme: Adoption of PPGIS and 3D PPGIS in the Caucasus 

Moderator: Dr. María García-Martín, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL


  1. Aghavni Harutyunyan, GIS Specialist at AUA Acopian Center for the Environment
  2. Anton Stahl Olafsson, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Planning at University of Copenhagen
  3. Arman Atoyan, co-founder of ARLOOPA Inc.
  4. Biayna Bogosian, Assistant Professor of Architectural Technology, Florida International University
  5. Thibaud Chassin, Ph.D. Student at Laboratory of Geographic Information Systems (LaSIG), EPFL; and Research Assistant at Institute of Territorial Engineering (InsIT), University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HEIG-VD)


17:45 AMT (15:45 CET)

Closing Remarks (15 minutes)


Day 3 -- October 6 (STUDENT DAY)

15:00 (13:00 CET) 

 Opening Remarks (5 minutes)

15:05 (13:05 CET) Student Presentations and Discussion 

  1. Miriam Rueger, University of Hohenheim
  2. Alyssa Bougie, University of Hohenheim
  3. Sare Galstyan, Armenian National Agrarian University
  4. Ashot Gabrielyan, Armenian National Agrarian University
  5. Monika Khachatryan, Armenian National Agrarian University

Moderator: Prof. Dr. Claudia Bieling and Niklas Effenberger, Institute of Social Sciences in Agriculture


16:55 AMT (14:55 CET)

Closing Remarks (5 minutes)

The platform is produced by the American University of Armenia (AUA) Acopian for the Environment as part of its GATES project, a collaborative 4-year project (2018-2021) between the Center and the University of Hohenheim (UHOH) supported by DAAD, the German Academic Exchange Service, with funds from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).