The UNESCO Chair on the Prevention and Sustainable Management of Geo-Hydrological Hazards, established in 2016 at the University of Florence, represents the first UNESCO Chair in Italy dedicated to applied research in the field of geo-hydrological hazards threatening the human life, property, cultural heritage and the natural and built environment.
Two different departments of the University of Florence (UNIFI) are involved in the activities of the Chair: the Department of Earth Sciences (DST-UNIFI) and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DICEA-UNIFI).
The Department of Earth Sciences has been recognized in 2017 as national centre of excellence for scientific research in the field of geosciences by the Italian Ministry of Research and Education (MIUR). Since 2005 it is the official Centre of Competence of the Italian Civil Protection for remote sensing and geo-hydrological hazards. In 2008 the DST-UNIFI was appointed as a World Centre of Excellence (WCoE) on Landslide Risk Reduction 2008-2011 by the International Programme on Landslides (IPL) of the International Consortium on Landslides (ICL). This recognition was assigned for the three-year period 2011-2014, and confirmed four consecutive times for 2014-2017, 2017-2020 and for 2020-2023.
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DICEA-UNIFI) is one of the main research structures in this field in Europe. DICEA is the coordinator of the 2015 World Engineering Education Forum that will be hosted in Firenze in September.