Mapping Azerbaijan’s Regional Vulnerability: Analysis of pollutant and demographic data

Authors: Chelsea Cervantes De Blois*, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Minneapolis, MN
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Cartography
Keywords: regional and environmental vulnerability, Azerbaijan, pollutants, demographic data, BlackSmith institute data
Session Type: Guided Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Roosevelt 3.5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

At the end of World War II the former Soviet Union created an expansive environmental degradation from industrial growth and improper disposal of hazardous substances which contributed to the remnants of active mercury, lead, arsenic, pesticides, air pollutants, and other hazardous contaminants in the region (Sharov et al. 2016). As a result, independent countries such as Azerbaijan, are now environmentally and socio-economically vulnerable from the challenges in regulating and enforcing policies to reduce the risk of industrial pollutants and hazards. The motivation to mapping Azerbaijan’s vulnerability is it being the second country in Eurasia to Russia, with the most people at risk from polluted sites (Sharov et al. 2016). This study uses a conceptual framework of vulnerability that links both the region’s ecological and social systems (Berrouet et al 2018) to determine which inputs are necessary to create a multivariate map in ArcGIS. This conceptual framework is organized into a diagram to aid in identifying the relationships and patterns between Azerbaijan’s population, unemployment changes, and the BlackSmith Institute’s pollutant data documented from 2012 - 2018. The significance of Azerbaijan’s mapped demographic and pollutant tells an untold story about the region’s population risk to pollutants and hazards, and its intersection with Azerbaijan’s unemployment and migration shifts in the last ten years. The contribution of this study is to speak to the larger conversations of mapping Eurasian populations at risk and geovisual analysis of demographic and pollutant data to define vulnerability of understudied regions (Hallegatte et al. 2011; Malone and Engle 2011).

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