Lake Ohrid Video Profiles

Lake Ohrid Video Profiles

Between January and August 2016, Pedaling Pictures produced three videos in the framework of an EU-funded project coordinated by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre to raise awareness of the natural and cultural values of the Lake Ohrid region shared by Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. You can read more about the specifics of the project in our previous post or visit the project website here. We became involved with the the Lake Ohrid project though Stephanie's work with the  IUCN Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where she provided project support to the…continue reading →
Supporting the Effective Management of Lake Ohrid

Supporting the Effective Management of Lake Ohrid

Pedaling Pictures recently had the opportunity support the EU-funded project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid Region.” Lake Ohrid is a transboundary lake in Southeastern Europe located between Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). The project, coordinated by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, is dedicated to addressing the main threats affecting the natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region in the two countries. Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Lake Ohrid Region Lake Ohrid is the oldest lake in Europe…continue reading →
Project Update: Protected Areas in Albania

Project Update: Protected Areas in Albania

We teamed up with NaturAL, and we’re heading to Albania! The official name of the project is “Strengthening national capacity in nature protection, preparation for Natura 2000 network”—but it goes by NaturAL. The project aims to halt the loss of biodiversity in Albania through improved management of its protected areas. Focus on Albania Albania is very rich in biological diversity. It encompasses both Mediterranean and Alpine bioregions, is part of the Adriatic flyway, and is also a European Green Belt country. In fact, Albania is so diverse that this little country covering only…continue reading →
Project Update: Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Lake Ohrid Region

Project Update: Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Lake Ohrid Region

Since January 2016 we’ve been based in Belgrade, Serbia working on a number of projects across the Balkans. One of our projects is located in the Lake Ohird region of Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. A Little About Lake Ohrid Lake Ohrid is the oldest and deepest lake in Europe and one of the world’s few ancient lakes, on a short list of water bodies including Lake Baikal in Siberia and Lake Tanganyika in the East African Rift. More than a million years old, its long life span and marked isolation…continue reading →
Fulbright vs Boren: Tips for Applying

Fulbright vs Boren: Tips for Applying

This post is a spin-off from my previous post about the differences between the Fulbright and Boren programs. Here I'm offering a few tips for applying for the Boren Fellowship and Fulbright Research Scholarship. This is a combination of advice from my professors and academic advisors, plus some things that, in hindsight, I wish I had known at the time of writing my applications or had done differently. I also recommend checking out Kayden Bui’s website -- he’s a former Boren Scholar and Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grantee. His website is a great resource for individuals applying to the Fulbright…continue reading →

Fulbright vs Boren: What’s the Difference?

The U.S. government is making a big effort to expand the number of Americans going abroad and learning foreign languages. Fulbright is one of the best known fellowship programs for Americans to study and research abroad, but it’s certainly not the only one. I've studied abroad many times -- first as an AFS exchange student during high school, several times during college to combine studying/volunteering/and working abroad, and also as a recipient of the Fulbright and Boren awards. I submitted the above featured video to IIE’s Generation Study Abroad Voices Video Challenge to highlight my study abroad…continue reading →
How to get from Almaty to Bishkek

How to get from Almaty to Bishkek

You're in Almaty and you're heading to Bishkek! Cool! We spent a year in Bishkek and travelled frequently between the two capitals. We thought this post might be useful for anyone planning to make this trip for the first time. We prefer to go by marshrutka (shared minibus) and recommend this way because it's easy, inexpensive (about 1,300 KTZ) and it's pretty quick (about 5 hours). In Almaty, how do I reach the long-distance bus station from the city center? Marshrutkas to Bishkek depart from Almaty's long-distance Sairan bus station (международный автовокзал Сайран). The bus station…continue reading →

Bright Ideas: Energy Efficient Homes in Kyrgyzstan

During the month of July, we joined Kyrgyz NGO CAMP Alatoo in the village of Arslanbob to learn how they are teaming up with local craftsmen to spread energy awareness across the country. About Arslanbob Arslanbob is famous for its walnut-fruit forests. These ancient forests are the largest natural walnut forests in the world. Under Soviet forestry regulations the walnut forests were protected, and usage of valuable forest products was regulated under Soviet central planning. Today, however, the survival of this unique ecosystem is threatened. The biggest threat is from unrestricted grazing of livestock, which threatens…continue reading →

Conflict Management over Natural Resources in Kyrgyzstan

Many conflicts in Kyrgyzstan occur over natural resources. People in rural communities in Kyrgyzstan depend directly on natural resources like pastures, water, and wood to sustain their livelihoods. Pastures are particularly important: 94% of Kyrgyzstan’s territory is covered by mountains, and 80% of the available agricultural land is classified as pastures. Livestock and livestock breeding is a strong component of the rural economy and tensions over grazing rights and competition to use and manage natural resources is often a source of conflict both between neighbors and across international borders. We accompanied NGO CAMP Alatoo to Ak-Talaa…continue reading →

Talking “Citizen Science” in Kyrgyz Schools

Stay in Kyrgyzstan long enough and you'll pick up at least one phrase: Кош келиниздер! This phrase means “welcome” in Kyrgyz. It can be heard at the start of every public event, and seen at the entrance of every school across the country. The Kyrgyz Mountains Environmental Education and Citizen Science project—also known as KMEECS—is a project with which I (Stephanie) am personally involved in the design, implementation, and monitoring. I’m an intern at CAMP Alatoo in projects on climate change adaptation and conflict management over natural resources, and KMEECS is one of CAMP Alatoo’s climate change adaptation…continue reading →