Paola Fontanella Pisa is Programme Associate of Global Mountain Safeguard Research (GLOMOS) Programme, a joint endeavor of UNU-EHS and Eurac Research in South Tyrol. Holder of a Master of Arts in World Heritage Studies, she completed her studies at the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, in Germany. Her research, pursued in Japan as exchange student at the Tsukuba University, investigated the role of memory transmission for disaster risk reduction. Ms. Fontanella Pisa obtained her Bachelor Degree in Language, Culture and Society of Asia and Mediterranean Africa at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, in Italy, where she specialized in Japanese language and culture. Her interest in disaster risk reduction and resilience building is rooted in her experiences working in Japan, in support to communities hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
She is currently a PhD candidate at the Graduate School of Environmental Studies at Tohoku University, Japan, where she carries out transdisciplinary research on the integration of local knowledge into disaster risk reduction and adaptation pathways in UNESCO mountain Biosphere Reserves. Her scientific work focuses on understanding the dynamics of nature-culture linkages in risk perception, ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction, and integrated risk management approaches of mountain social-ecological systems.
Before her appointment with UNU-EHS, Ms. Fontanella Pisa has been working with UNESCO in the Natural Science Sector, supporting projects on building resilience of educational infrastructure, and developing related project proposals. Prior to that, Ms. Fontanella Pisa had the opportunity to collaborate with UNU-EHS as Secretariat of the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR), hosted by UN Environment’s Crisis Management Branch in Geneva, Switzerland.
In addition to her work, Ms. Fontanella Pisa is also committed to a network of Young Ecosystem Services Specialists (YESS) and is the focal point with the Open-ended Network of IPBES Stakeholders.