NATO and earth scientists: an ongoing collaboration to assess geohazards and contribute to societal security in Central Asia and the Caucasus

Alessandro Tibaldi, Andrey M. Korzhenkov, Federico Pasquarè Mariotto, Derek Rust, Nino Tsereteli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Geological features and hazards have no geographical and political boundaries. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been funding several international Earth Science research projects in Central Asia and the Caucasus over the last ten years. The projects are aimed at improving the security of people and the safety of infrastructures, and fostering peaceful scientific collaboration between scientists from NATO and non-NATO countries. In the present work, we show how Earth Science can contribute to improving scientific collaboration also among countries that are politically in tension, and how it can also play a key role in preventing situations that may escalate into conflicts. This paper showcases the main results, partially unpublished, of three different research projects that have been aimed at assessing, through an interdisciplinary approach, different geohazards affecting important infrastructure and lifelines of a number of countries in Central Asia and the Caucasus. For each region, we also describe the societal relevance of the research, considering possible geopolitical issues that might be brought about by natural disasters. The research efforts have focused on geohazards threatening: i) the Enguri hydropower plant, located partly in the Republic of Georgia and partly in the disputed territory of Abkhazia, ii) the Toktogul water reservoir, in Kyrgyzstan, and iii) the Caspian oil and gas pipelines crossing the Republic of Georgia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-205
Number of pages13
JournalEpisodes
Volume41
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018

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