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Vol 3, No 3 (2010)


4-13 541

Mapping of above-ground phytomass provides a baseline for monitoring climate-induced changes, especially in the northern regions. This is important for practical applications, such as assessing quality of pastures and defining reindeer migration routes. Use of very high resolution (1 m and better) aerial and satellite images is of particular interest, because changes at the level of individual trees can be monitored over comparatively large areas. The goals of this study were to: i) establish relations between phytomass values and structure and spectral reflectance derived from ground research and ii) upscale from ground data to QuickBird satellite imagery to compile maps of above-ground phytomass for key sites. As a result, the study has produced a preliminary map of the above-ground phytomass of lichens for a test site in the Tuliok Valley, Khibiny Mountains, central Kola Peninsula, Russia, with phytomass values well in line with fieldwork data.

14-31 602

This paper analyses the significant role of the monuments of historical districts of two major cities in Russia and Ukraine in perception of their images by people. Certain historical monuments and artifacts of Odessa and St. Petersburg have been used by official ideology and propaganda in creating of clear associations-clichés. It has been achieved through the conscious use of color combinations, lush décor, careful placement of the monuments, etc. Future research activities in this field should involve further investigation of the role of locations of socially important historical buildings and analysis of the role of various images of the city and its individual components in fiction and popular tourist literature. These efforts will facilitate holistic understanding of the value of entire cities, as well as of their individual components to collective mentality and to the public policy and ideology.

32-41 406
The paper is focused on the geographical processes which support the specific features of the Balkan Peninsula, giving them civilisation content. The concept of “in-between” is proposed and its three components exposed: I) a space where developments are governed by outside interferences and influences stronger than inside forces, and producing small fragmented territories; 2) a space where recurrent adversity causes feed-back to previous conditions, contributes to cyclic experience of time and prevents accumulation of development; 3) a space where all kind of discontinuities further creativity but without local implementation. These three interactive components of the “in-between Balkan” are analysed in its version of geopolitical front area during the Cold War, then in the intermediary area’s version since 1990. The next future is involved through the topic of organic links between Balkans and Istanbul and Turkey.


42-55 462

China has achieved impressive rapid development over the past 30 years. But China also faces the challenge of environmental change resulting from rapid economic growth and the attendant risks to human health. In this paper we described the environmental change and health risk in China from evident fluctuation of China’s climate, major changes in natural hydrological condition, raw materials and energy demand, changes of disease epidemic pattern related to climate change and ecosystem damage, new health risk raised by rapid urbanization and rural environmental quality degradation. The suggestion and countermeasures were discussed.

56-67 465

A cross-sectional survey was used to assess the impact of traditional practices on trade in traditional plants within the rainforest of Nigeria. A questionnaire survey and market-based observations were used to derive data from 110 stakeholders including: plant collectors, sellers, middlemen and traditional healers. Results of data analyses indicate that: (i) plants not suitable for cultural practices were not usually used for traditional medicine. (ii) Traditional management of the forests based on open access, restricted access and closed access rights could no longer protect habitats of medicinal plants. (iii) Breakdown of management practices in the forests was common because of a twin factor: violators of regulations were not being punished; and there were increasing disputes over land boundaries among communities. (iv) Medicinal plants on regular trade were in decline. Stakeholder participation in species rehabilitation in the forests and establishment of ex situ gardens may sustain the medicinal plant trade.


68-100 483

This research work was devoted to the development of indices of social, economic and political growth, to the practical application of these indices, and to their real-world verification with actual data. The study identified the advantages and disadvantages of the application of different indices to the assessment of growth. For example, one group of indices can be calculated, with some degree of simplification, for a fairly long time-period (half a century). Another group of indices that target the full consideration of growth includes indices that consist of a number of individual indicators though calculated for a relatively short time-period (e.g., one year only). The authors introduced specific indices of economic and social growth of countries and regions that were applied to the assessment of the social, economic, and political development of the world’s countries. The assessment was verified using actual data on the countries’ development.


101-106 327

In January 2011 it will be 190 years since an outstanding Scottish scientist James Croll was born. He was versatile researcher interested both in life science and humanities (for instance, philosophy). He made the most contribution for the development of the orbital theory of paleoclimate, but it seems that this achievement is not recognised enough yet.

107-112 334

In September 2010, Moscow hosted the International Arctic Forum “The Arctic—Territory of Dialogue.” The Arctic Forum focused its attention on elements of sustainable development in the Arctic region, i.e., ecology, economics, infrastructure, social services, security, and geopolitics. Many Russian experts and many well-known politicians and experts from leading research centers of the Arctic countries (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and USA), as well as by participants from France, Germany, Netherlands, and other countries attended the forum. Scholars and public figures from the European countries, representatives of the NATO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and other institutions were also present at the conference. In his key-note speech the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Geographical Society (RGS), Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Vladimir V. Putin formulated the principles of Russian national policy in the Arctic. Russian and foreign participants supported the idea of continuing dialogue on the Arctic under the RGS’s aegis and the transformation of the Arctic Forum into a permanent platform for discussions on the most urgent issues of the region.

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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)