It seems that the Earth has caught fire with war and conflict. Coups, aggression, border shifts and wars are the order of the day. Many of us may be pining for a quarter of a century ago, in the late 1990s, when with the exception of Somalia perhaps, there were very few active danger zones.
These developments don’t make our mission any easier. We strive to be – as small as we may be – an instrument for communication, understanding and ultimately the creation of connections. How can we do that when more and more of the world feels disconnected, with polarising views making peace and prosperity seem further away?
And yet, we must continue trying as much as possible, appreciating every nation for the richness of their culture, even as we worry for the future of our planet.
In practical terms, we must remind you that during conflicts, we do not change borders unless a considerable time – five years is a good guide – has elapsed. In the case of Ukraine, for example, we have kept the regions largely as they were before the invasion of February 24, 2022, and we will continue to do so until an end to the conflict is reached.
When considering Nagorno Karabakh, however, it appears that a definitive end to the conflict has now resulted in the de facto independent Armenian-controlled nation called Artsakh to no longer exist. The authorities there themselves have called for the abolition of the former self-governing de facto state, and sources such as wikipedia already refer to it in the past tense.
Since this situation appears to have been accepted – willingly or not – by both sides, we must also adapt our own geographical considerations. We are therefore deleting Nagorno Karabakh from our Masterlist of regions. We will be placing it in the ‘Vintage’ Series while at the same time developing no less than 3 new DARE places to reflect the broad interest, as well as the geographical complexity of this region.
This is the first time in our history that a NomadMania region is deleted as a result of a war and conflict or a political shift in the region.
The areas of Nagorno-Karabakh will be fully amalgamated into the Azerbaijan-West region and Azerbaijan will have a total of three regions (East, West and Nakhchivan). Within Azerbaijan, Karabakh is administratively merely one of the 14 economic regions, without any autonomous status as it used to have in the Soviet era, while Azerbaijan is overall a small country in size, population as well as our other indicators. Therefore, dividing it into four regions would make it much overrepresented and we feel it is better to focus on the present status rather than the historical one.
To ‘compensate’ for the deletion of this region and maintain our 1301 overall number, we have decided to make a further split in the Philippines by according the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao the status of a region.
Given the large number of islands, the autonomous status accorded in 2019 as well as the cultural diversity of this region, we believe it is certainly a place where NomadManians will find much to explore.