The UNESCO Chair on “Prevention and Sustainable Management of Geo-Hydrological Hazards” at the University of Florence is the first chair in Italy dedicated to applied research in the field of geo-hydrological hazards that threaten human life, property, cultural heritage, the natural and built environment. It was established in June 2016 and extended for the period 2020-2024 and then for the period 2024-2028.


Two different departments of the University of Florence (UNIFI) are involved in the Chair's activities: the Department of Earth Sciences (DST-UNIFI) and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DICEA-UNIFI).


The UNESCO Chair has a broad network of collaborations with institutions, associations and international consortia and participates in numerous research projects funded by national and international organizations in the field of prevention and management of geo-hydrological risks, with a particular focus on landslides, subsidence and floods. In particular, the Chair is a member of the International Consortium on Landslides (ICL), the International Consortium on Geo-disaster Reduction (ICGdR) and the Global Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes (GADRI).


Furthermore, the UNESCO Chair has been involved in research, development and cooperation activities for the prevention and reduction of geo-hydrological hazards in view of conservation of UNESCO World Heritage List sites in Italy, as well as in many other countries around the world. In this context the members of the Chair have promoted and participated in many national and international projects and joint missions with official partners for the protection and conservation of cultural heritage threatened by geo-hydrological hazards.


Since 2017, the UNESCO Chair has set up a new Master’s degree course in "Geoengineering", which is taught entirely in English.

In 2023, the UNESCO Chair organized the Sixth World Landslide Forum (WLF6), which was attended by more than 1200 delegates from all over the world.

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