2021 virtual Conference in Romania Report


9-10 August 2021 - Virtual Conference



Panel: The global impact of COVID-19 pandemic and local responses

Etienne Nel

Exacerbating marginalization: COVID-19’s impact on peripheral, tourism- dependent regions in New Zealand and local responses

Dolores Sánchez-Aguilera, Ángela Martínez-Rivas, Jaime Martínez-Ruiz

Pandemic as a driver of marginality in the heart of the city. New dynamics in the Ramblas in Barcelona (Spain)

Paulo Nossa, Anabela Mota-Pinto, Julio Masquete, Alice Freia, Fernanda Cravidão

A geographical reading of the diffusion of covid19 from hyperconnectivity territories and the way they impact marginal regions: the case of Lichinga, Northern Mozambique

Paper session 1: Opportunities and challenges in rural area

Toivo Muilu, Olli Voutilainen

Rural proofing as a method and practice – experiences from Finland

Chhabi Lal Chidi

Population dynamics and agricultural land abandonment in the mountains and the hills of Nepal

Lelia Papp, Ana-Maria Pop

Turning constraints into opportunities: farming activities and labelling agricultural and food products in the Romanian mountain area

Paper session 2: Gendered and cultural inequalities and vulnerabilities

Marinela Istrate, Andreea Fedor, Corneliu Iaţu

European citizens’ perception of women’s involvement in political life. Evidence for Romania and other central and eastern European countries

Elena-Manuela Bîrsănuc

Gendered vulnerability to energy poverty in Romania

Hugo Capellà Miternique

Solitude: a lost voice in the desert

Paper session 3: Economic and social inequalities and disparities in the globalized world

Ibolya Török, József Benedek

Measuring the spatial dimension of income inequality: evidence from Romania

Steve Déry, Claudia Currado, Marcel Lefebvre, Weldy Saint-Fleur, Arnaud Vigouroux

Reduire les inegalites pour sauver la planete : par quel bout commencer ?

Ştefana Rotaru

Three Seas Initiative – between geography, economy and politics. The strategic importance of the U.S.’ engagement

Paper session 4: Land use management and change in marginal areas

Mohd Salleh Daim, Jamalunlaili Abdullah

Protected area as a source of livelihood: analysis on the perspectives of the local stakeholders to Taman Negara National Park (TNNP), Pahang, Malaysia

Andreea Costea, Ştefan Bilaşco

Evaluation of the risk induced by erosion on the land use. Case study: Guruslău depression

Uttam Sagar Shrestha

Population growth and land use change in the Tamakoshi river basin of central mountain region, Nepal

Paper session 5: Ways out of marginality. Accessibility, mobility and urban development

Walter Leimgruber

“I knew early on I wanted to be a plumber. And it worked out.” Education as a way out of marginality

Raularian Rusu, Titus-Cristian Man, Ciprian-Sandu Moldovan, Bogdan-Eugen Dolean

Accessibility and marginality of settlements in Cluj county (Romania)

Ciprian-Sandu Moldovan, Raularian Rusu, Titus-Cristian Man, Elena-Manuela Bîrsănuc, Iulia Hărănguş, Bogdan-Eugen Dolean

Towards smart transportation. Mobility and urban development in Cluj metropolitan area

Cosmina-Daniela Ursu

The evolution of impervious surfaces based on Copernicus high resolution layers. Case study: growth poles and their metropolitan areas, Romania

The annual Commission conference had been postponed from 2020 to 2021 and was held online via Zoom on August 9 and 10. Head of the organizing committee was Prof. Raularian Rusu, his local team included Prof. Titus Man, Dr. Ana-Maria Pop, Dr. Lelia Papp and Dr. Gheorghe Hognogi of Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca (Romania).

Considering the special situation (the COVID-19 pandemic), the conference opened with a panel session focusing on marginality issues provoked by the pandemic. It was introduced by three papers, followed by a lively discussion on problems related to the pandemic.

Afterwards, an additional 16 papers on a variety of topics were presented in five sessions (see programme below), three on Monday and two on Tuesday. The conference was attended by around 20 persons.

The first day ended with a music show by our member and former chair, Prof. Steve Déry, who demonstrated his talent as a singer, texter and composer. The first part comprised his own creations (essentially in French), in the second part he performed classic songs and evergreens as far back as the 1960s, in both English and French.

The conference ended with a business meeting on Tuesday afternoon, which included both a record of past achievements and an outlook on our future activities.

Commission's business meeting report

August 10, 2021


· Publication matters

· Conferences

· Any other business


· Information was given as to our publication schedule. Volume 7, edited by Pushkar Pradhan & Walter Leimgruber, includes chapters based on the 2019 Kathmandu conference. The volume is in preparation and should be ready this year. Volume 8 will be dedicated to the COVID-19 issues (as suggested by the publishers); there are currently 11 chapters waiting, more will come from the panel session during this conference and from the COVID-19 session at the IGC next week.

· The future of the IGU Centennial book is still uncertain. The sudden passing away of Prof. R.B. Singh (the designated editor) and discussions about the publishers delay the process.

· The presentations of this conference should be part of volume 9 of our series. Details will be discussed later.


· We have registered for a session at the special IGC in Paris, 2022 and are waiting for a reply. Preceding this, we shall meet for a pre-congress conference in Reims (France) where our colleague Céline Burger has agreed to host us. We all hope to be able to meet in person, not only for socializing but also for an exciting field trip.

· For 2023, we have a confirmed invitation to come together in Malaysia, where Proffs. Firuza Begham Binti Mustafa (University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur) and Jamalunlaili Abdullah (UiTM Shah Alam) will host us.

· The next ‘official’ IGC will take place in Dublin, Ireland in 2024. The secretary will try to establish contact with a colleague in Ireland about the organization of a pre-congress conference.

· Prof. Raularian Rusu also proposed and invited to the next in vivo conference (hopefully) in Cluj-Napoca in 2024.

Other business

· It has been suggested that future Commission conferences should be held in hybrid form (in person and virtual) to open them to participants who for some reason cannnot travel

· Small seminars can be organized spontaneously by members in an online format. As to cost, the organizer should contact the secretary.

· SC members suggest to open some of their online lectures to the marginality commission, thus producing digital certificates for students and professors.

· Prof. Daichi Kohmoto’s proposal to create and manage a Facebook page of the Commission was welcomed. The page has already been created: https://www.facebook.com/GeographicalMarginality

· Raul informs that the Zoom-platform, acquired for the virtual conference, can be used for seminars during the next 12 months as he has paid for it.

WL-BFB 10/08/2021

Organizing Committee

Assoc. Prof. Raularian RUSU, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Prof. Borna FUERST-BJELIŠ, Chair of the Commission, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Prof. Steve DÉRY, Université Laval, Québec, Canada

Prof. Emeritus Walter LEIMGRUBER, Commission Secretary, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Assoc. Prof. Titus MAN, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Dr. Ana-Maria POP, Research Fellow, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Lecturer Lelia PAPP, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Lecturer Gheorghe HOGNOGI, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Scientific Committee

Dr. Firuza BEGHAM BINTI MUSTAFA, Senior Lecturer, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Prof. Ruth KARK, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

Prof. Daichi KOHMOTO, Nara University of Education, Nara, Japan

Prof. Kenneth MATENGU, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia

Prof. Toivo MUILU, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland

Dr. Catherine ROBINSON, Adjunct Assoc. Prof., University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Prof. Claudio URRA COLETTI, National University of Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Prof. Etienne NEL, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Prof. Stanko PELC, University of Primorska, Koper, Slovenia

Prof. Nicolae POPA, West University of Timişoara, Timişoara, Romania

Prof. József BENEDEK, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Prof. Pompei COCEAN, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania