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The Tenth Annual Doctoral Research Workshop organized
by London Central Asia Research Network


The science and culture of climate and environment
in Central Asia



29 January 2022

(Time 12.15 pm to 17.20 pm - UK Time)


Convened by Sarah Forgesson, UCL


Organising Committee: Dr Katherine Hughes, Dr Gai Jorayev, Sofya du Boulay


Please register:



12.15-12.30 Arrival and introduction
Sarah Forgesson

12.30 - 14.10. Session 1: Cultural and Social Impacts of the Climate Crisis

Chair and discussant: Sarah Forgesson

Sylvain Roy, Independent Researcher
‘Impact of Climate Change on Uzbek Traditional Musical Landscape’


Alina Bychkova, Nottingham Trent University‘Climate change communication in Kazakhstan: key narratives and issues’


Gulzat Egemberdieva, Humboldt University, Berlin
Film: ‘Moscow Time’


14.10 - 14.20. Break

14.20 - 16.00. Session 2: Sustainable pathways

Chair: TBC

Dr. Zabikhulla Saipov, University of World Economy and Diplomacy
‘From Shrinking Aral Sea to Dusty Storm Tashkent’


Anvar Rahmetov, World Bank
‘Integrating Sustainable Trade Principles into Uzbekistan’s Economic Policies’

Sarah Forgesson

‘Role of Heritage in Climate Adaption and Pathways'

16.00 - 16.10 Break

16.10 -17.10. Keynote lecture

Dr. Ece Ozdemiroglu, Economics For The Environment Consultancy

17.10-17.20 Concluding remarks

This workshop explores environmental transformations and reactions in Central Asia, including developments in the landscape of modern capitalism and extractive industries, state sustainability politics, and art activism. There is already a well-established history of research exploring ecological catastrophes, water security and other moments of environmental breakdown within Central Asia. Yet, global as well as regional environmental issues urge the need to focus on the impacts of the ‘Anthropocene’ era, the current climate crisis, and ways to mitigate catastrophe, through science but also through political and individual efforts including activism and social change. The aim of this workshop, therefore, is to look beyond the architecture of ecosystems per se, instead exploring the environmental trends and evolutions of sustainable production in industrial, urban, and cultural spaces and the philosophy of ecology in a Central Asian context. Environmental and ecological movements are increasingly common in Central Asia. A major achievement was the closure of the Soviet nuclear testing site in Semipalatinsk (Kazakhstan) after mass protests and campaigns in 1989. Today’s environmental activism, e.g. Movegreen (http://movegreen.kg/en/ ) and Biom (http://www.biom.kg/en) both based in Kyrgyzstan, manifests in different forms, operating in numerous spaces and generating a range of critical discourse across Central Asia. We therefore encourage papers that engage critically with how climate, environment, biodiversity loss and clean energy production is perceived within Central Asia by various actors across diverse disciplines. The current climate emergency is an extensive and complex global challenge that requires cooperation and coordination across all fields. It is our hope that this workshop begins to draw out the realities of these complexities within the unique context of Central Asia,
as well as the potential means of innovatively tackling them as a region.




Keynote Speaker

Ece Ozdemiroglu, Economics For The Environment Consultancy
Email address: ece@eftec.co.uk

Ece Ozdemiroglu is an environmental economist with 30 years’ experience. She is the founder of EFTEC (Economics For The Environment Consultancy) and a member of the UK Climate Change Committee, UK’s independent statutory advisory and scrutiny body set up by the Climate Change Act – 2008. She is a vocal advocate of multidisciplinary working and believes economists should become multi-lingual and a bridge between different stakeholders. She has BA in Economics from Istanbul University and MSc in Environmental Economics at UCL.


Workshop Participants

Dr. Anvar Rahmetov, World Bank
Email address: rahmetoff@gmail.com

Anvar Rahmetov is a native of Uzbekistan with a PhD in political economy (IMT-Lucca Institute of Advanced Studies, Italy). He currently works for a project called Global Trade Alert and for the World Bank project on Trade Facilitation in West Africa. Besides these two projects, he has also started a collaboration with the UN Economic Commission for Europe on the review of Central Asia’s sustainable trade policies. His contribution to this workshop deals with the current external trade and industrial policies of Uzbekistan seen through the prism of Sustainable Development Goals, including those on climate and environment.

Gulzat Egemberdieva, Humboldt University, Berlin
Email address: egemzat@gmail.com


Gulzat Egemberdieva is a filmmaker and journalist from the Issyk Kul region, Kyrgyzstan. She has a BA in journalism from the Bishkek University of Humanities, having worked at the Kyrgyz National Radio & TV Corporation. She has also received an M.A. from the Centre of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, University of Toronto and is currently working towards a PhD at the Humboldt University, Berlin, where her dissertation topic covers the cultural history of women in Kyrgyzstan, from the pre Soviet era to the post-Soviet era. Her documentary filmmaking can be found here: www.chemodanfilms.com

Alina Bychkova, PhD candidate in Department of Politics and International Relations, Nottingham Trent University, UK
Email: alina.bychkova2019@my.ntu.ac.uk


Alina Bychkova is a PhD student at Nottingham Trent University (UK). Her doctoral study explores climate change narratives in Central Asia focusing on the ideological ties in regional environmental policies. The outcome so far is a publication (with Dr Poberezhskaya, M.) titled ‘Kazakhstan’s climate change policy: reflecting national strength, green economy aspirations and
international agenda’, Post-Communist Economies, 1-22. Alina has been exploring climate change discourses over the last four years including environmental perceptions in Russia and Europe and discourses of Russian media with a focus on climate scepticism. Alina also works as a Lecturer Assistant at Nottingham Trent University.


Dr. Zabikhulla Saipov, University of World Economy and Diplomacy, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Email: zsaipov@protonmail.com

Dr. Zabikhulla Saipov is a linguist and a political scientist specializing in post-Soviet Central Asian studies. He studied international affairs at Columbia University as an Edmund S. Muskie fellow (MIA). Most recently he was a non-resident research fellow at the Center for Global Studies & Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center University of Illinois UrbanaChampaign Research Laboratory.

Dr. Slyvian Roy
Email: cronan.sr@wanadoo.fr


Sylvain Roy is a French ethnomusicologist who specializes in Central Asian instruments. He has written a thesis on Afghan Rubāb. His research deals with the diachronic evolution of Central Asia musical instruments, and experimental archeo-lutry. He's currently teaching music in a junior high school in Nice, France.