Science for Peace and Security: “Bicocca” University will lead the programme in the next three years
To promote scientific collaboration between the former Soviet Union countries and the Western world, as well as prevent possible conflicts in Central Asia through the analysis of natural risks. These are the objectives of the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) programme that will be led by the University of Milano-Bicocca in the next three years by a mandate of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The leadership of the programme was assigned to Alessandro Tibaldi (pictured), Department of Environment and Territory and Earth Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, who will coordinate an international team of researchers from the United States, Italy, England, Switzerland, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
The research team will study the natural hazards that could undermine social and geopolitical stability of a very sensitive Caucasian region located between Georgia and the separatist region of Abkhazia. In particular, scientists will study the risks associated with seismicity, landslides, release of pollutants in the area near Enguri Dam (pictured), which provides 75% of the electric power in Georgia, with power plants located in a region over which Abkhazia claims sovereignty.
“The project – explains Alessandro Tibaldi – has already achieved a goal: to bring scientists from NATO and former Soviet Unit countries together around the same working table, thus overcoming bureaucratic and diplomatic obstacles. Attention to the Enguri Dam is very high, since the construction of this facility started in 1961, during the Soviet era, without taking into consideration the possible geological risks that could threaten it”.
“In the last few decades – continued Tibaldi – important steps have been taken in the investigational methods used to increase knowledge about natural hazards and to prevent them: this must be put into practice especially in areas hosting infrastructures that are particularly important for the economy and the political and social stability of a region, as is the case with Enguri Dam”.
The “Science for Peace and Security” programme is a NATO initiative aimed to improve collaboration and dialogue between partners through collaboration in scientific research, innovation and knowledge exchange. The programme provides funding, expert advice and support to security-relevant activities jointly developed by a NATO member and partner country.