2020•09•25 Bolzano, Italy
Today the United Nations flag has officially been raised in front of the Eurac Research headquarters in Bolzano, Italy, marking Bolzano’s position as a new UN duty station and sealing a longstanding research partnership between UNU-EHS and Eurac Research.
Bolzano is now accredited as an official duty station of the United Nations, and it is the only location in Italy with UNU offices. Eurac Research and UNU-EHS have had a longstanding research collaboration in the fields of climate risks, sustainable development and civil security research in mountain areas, which led to the establishment of the jointly driven UNU programme Global Mountain Safeguard Research (GLOMOS).
“Mountain regions play a central role in the global development of agriculture, food security, the supply of fresh drinking water and the maintenance of biodiversity. At the same time, mountain regions are particularly exposed and vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change and other natural and man-made hazards. This is why applied research and collaborative networking with research partners such as Eurac Research is vital for UNU,” emphasized Dr. Shen Xiaomeng, UNU-ViE Vice Rector in Europe and Director of UNU-EHS, during her official visit to Bolzano.
A guiding principle of the Agenda 2030, the United Nations strategic umbrella framework, is the recognition that global challenges can only be solved together with partners at the local level. The Agenda comprises 17 goals for sustainable development covering economic, social and environmental aspects and applies to all countries throughout the world.
The particular objective for Eurac Research President Dr. Roland Psenner is “to be able to bring the comprehensive findings from 25 years of research on mountain areas to the global stage through this important partnership with United Nations University and thus contribute to the implementation of Agenda 2030.”
For South Tyrol, the close cooperation with UNU also offers new opportunities, as Governor Arno Kompatscher’s statement underlines: “The cooperation with the United Nations opens up new possibilities for the worldwide recognition of South Tyrol as a location with many years of experience in the sustainable development of mountain regions.”
The aim is to establish a solid network of partners in key mountain regions around the world – for example in the Hindu Kush – Himalaya region, the Andes of Latin America and the mountain regions of Southern Africa – to conduct joint research and to translate research results from the fields of climate risks, ecosystem protection, disaster preparedness and emergency response into practical applications.
“In the understanding of GLOMOS, however, actual sustainable development and transformations can only be achieved through the ownership of local stakeholder and practitioners,” says Dr. Joerg Szarzynski who together with Dr. Stefan Schneiderbauer jointly manages GLOMOS. Schneiderbauer sums up: “Therefore, a major objective of the programme is to facilitate the international dialogue and transfer of knowledge with partners from different mountain regions worldwide.”