Friday, June 18, 2010

How it started

This is the Munster church in Bonn, Germany.
Bonn is where it started.

In January, Karen and I visited Bonn briefly, all too briefly, but we had productive conversations with the people at ZEF -as well as good Spanish wine later in the evening.

ZEF is the federal German institute for development research, based at Bonn University.

They run a project for Unesco in western Uzbekistan, the ancient region of Khorezm. For a few years already, the ZEF people have been working on natural resource governance, the potential for innovation there. Water is the big problem. But land policy is an issue as well: how the land is organized, used and owned makes a big difference for development options. That's where I come in, where I can hopefully contribute something.

And, o, yes, this is Uzbekistan:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On fish and lakes

No, this is not Central Asia. This is Lake Superior, in Minnesota. Karen and I spent a few days in Tofte, a small former fishing village, to discuss the importance of fish in society, as well as the dramatic consequences of their absence. Lake Aral came up, notorious for its shrinkage and missing fish, but comparisons between Lake Superior and the Central Asian lake did not bring us much insight.

I am leaving for Europe Saturday, and to Uzbekistan July 1st. That is, when the visa is granted. Fingers crossed.

Welcome to my blog

After years of trepidation, I finally decided to start a blog.