Agumassie Genet Gela and Andargachew Abeje Derseh, both researchers at the Geospatial Data and Technology Center, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia, visited our UNESCO Chair of Sustainable Management of Conservation Areas team at Carinthia University of Applied Sciences. Along with sharing experiences and expertise, our guests learned about the planning guide for a monitoring programme developed by the BioMoniTec project team. We also had the opportunity to showcase our joint project at the 16th Research Forum of the Austrian Universities of Applied Sciences held at St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences. True to the motto of the research forum "Connecting Research", we gave a presentation about how we connect stakeholders with the ongoing research at Lake Tana. The integration of stakeholders in scientific processes opens new ways of gaining knowledge. For effective engagement and integration, we propose the selective involvement of stakeholders in the formulation of research questions, data collection activities, reflection on data analysis, and dissemination activities including publication of findings and communication about the project. During the research stay we also worked on designing content and activities for a follow-up project.
In their free time, Agumassie and Andargachew had the opportunity to gather impressions of Carinthia - a walk through the old town of Villach, a bicycle tour around Lake Ossiach, and trips to Dobratsch Nature Park, Landskron Castle and its Adlerarena.
The visit was a productive and inspiring time that allowed for fruitful discussions and exploration of future collaborations. It was a great pleasure to have Agumassie and Andargachew as our guests.