On September 12-15, 2017 the IALE 2017 “European Landscape Ecology Congress: From Pattern and Process to People and Action“ was held in Belgium in the beautiful historic city of Gent. The IALE 2017 European Congress was hosted by the Landscape research Unit of the Department of Geography of Ghent University and European Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE-Europe). University of Ghent is one of the top 100 world-class universities. The main objective of the IALE 2017 European Congress was to present new challenges facing landscape ecology, reflecting current societal, political and global challenges.
In the thematic group “Cultural Landscapes as a meeting point” professor Maria Kozova presented a lecture: Social Innovations for Maintaining the Biocultural Heritage in Rural Areas: UNESCO Vlkolinec site in Slovakia (Fig. 1). The lecture was prepared together with the co-authors Dr. Eva Pauditsova (Comenius University in Bratislava), professor Tatiana Kluvankova and Dr. Stanislava Brnkalakova (Institute of Ecology of Forest SAS, SPECTRA Center of Excellence). The lecture is the output of the Horizon 2020 project no. 677622: “Social Innovation in Marginalized Rural Areas (SIMRA)” and VEGA Project no. 2/0038/14 Ecosystem Services to Support Landscape Protection in the Condition of Global Change. During the congress Maria Kozova also presented the goals and achievement of the SIMRA project in informal discussions with colleagues from UK, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Italy and Czech Republic.
The program of the IALE 2017 European Congress has completed by the excursions focusing on three main themes: (a) Landscape interacting with borders and frontiers; (b) Landscape: where heritage and nature meet; and (c) Landscapes reflecting new features and challenges (Fig. 2). During the congress, Maria Kozova participated in a meeting of members of the IALE Working Group “Biocultural Landscape,” in which Professor Gloria Pungetti of the University of Cambridge presented its main tasks, a plan of activities for this group for the near future, and the possibility of publishing the outputs of the members. Maria Kozova also gave to members of the working group a bulletin about the SIMRA project.
Maria Kozova (SITT member, Catholic University in Ruzomberok, Slovakia)