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  Information - CL038 IGCP 521 Black Sea-Mediterranean Corridor during last 30 ky: Sea level change and human adaptation

Event Information
This session is a principal part of the UNESCO-IUGS IGCP 521 project “Black Sea-Mediterranean Corridor during last 30 ky: Sea level change and human adaptation”. The Black Sea-Mediterranean Corridor (“Corridor”) is an integrated oceanographic system defined here as the large geographical area covering the Manych-Kerch Gateway (Manych Valley, the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait) that lies to the east of the Black Sea, the Black Sea, the Marmara Gateway (the Bosphorus Strait, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles), the Aegean Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean and their coasts. At Late Pleistocene the “Corridor” was connected to the Caspian Sea via the Manych Gateway. Today, the “Corridor” is of strategic importance not only for all coastal countries that fall in a category of developing countries and countries in transit but also for at least 17 other countries sharing a drainage basin that is one-third the size of the European continent.
The “Corridor” acts as a paleoenvironmental amplifier and as a sensitive recorder for climatic events where sea level variations and coastline migration are especially pronounced due to its geographical location and semi-isolation from the open ocean. It provides a linkage between the marine and continental realms. It can be used as a natural model area to understand and reconstruct historical human responses to changes in climate, sea level, coastline migration and biodiversity in other semi-isolated intercontinental basins toward their sustainable development under Global Climate Change (GCC) anticipated in present century. Lately, the “Corridor” has spurred a tremendous international interest of the public, media and scientific community as a possible place where the biblical story of the Great Flood originated.
The main objective of the IGCP 521 Project is to investigate the evolution of the Black Sea-Mediterranean “Corridor” coastal zone since the Last Glacial Maximum, in order to understand spatial and temporal interactions between human adaptation and environmental changes particularly related with sea level and climate variations. Other objectives are to develop scenarios and plans for coastal risk management and sustainable development.
Twenty three countries are now involved in the IGCP 521 project, 70% from the developing world. Two hundred and thirty six participants including a high number of young scientists collaborate.
The IGCP 521-EGU session has the multiple focus of (1) encouraging participants from the developing countries and countries in transit to take up intensive and forward-looking discussions about advanced scientific topics, potential areas of collaboration, and future scientific priorities within the framework of IGCP-521, (2) establishing long-term collaboration between individual scientists from the developing countries, countries in transit and scientific centers in order to strengthen existing ties, forge new ones, and enhance partnership potential, (3) building an awareness of sustainable development in the developing countries and countries in transit, and (4) increasing further capacity for growth in the developing countries and countries in transit bordering the “Corridor” by contributing to the sharing and transferring of knowledge on sustainable development.
The main objectives are:
1. To discuss the actual status and to identify the main gaps in our knowledge on sustainable development of the coastal countries bordering the “Corridor” under GCC, sea level fluctuations and coastline migration.
2. To build an interactive and interdisciplinary cooperation to define and to quantify all the processes involved, from climate change/active tectonics to the evolution of biodiversity and human civilization for the entire “Corridor” in the context of its sustainable development and risk assessment under various climate/sea-level scenarios.
3. To discuss the advantages of the new analytical techniques and state-of-the-art interpretation of data.
4. To discuss possible interactions between environmental factors and human migration and subsistence using GIS-based modeling (in the form of VR 3-D interactive maps) of vegetation (i.e., climate), biota and human dispersal.
5. To encourage participants to contribute more actively to the preservation of cultural and religious heritage through the study of ancient cultures, civilizations, and their legends.

Preliminary List of Solicited Speakers
Dr. Victor Chabay, Crimean Branch of Archaeology Institute, Ukrainian National Academy Sciences, Ukraine
Dr. Hayrettin Koral, Istanbul University, Turkey
Dr. Gilles Lericolais, IFREMER, France
Prof. Yossi Mart, University of Haifa, Israel
Prof. Elena Smyntyna, Odessa I.I.Mechnikov National University, Ukraine


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