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Preventing and managing flood events: A technical-legal analysis of the implementation of legislation against hydro-geological instability in Italy

  • Categoria di progetto Project implemented within the Triennal Planning PRO3
  • Durata dal 28.02.2022 al 30.12.2023
  • Laboratorio/Centro di ricerca Istituto DIRPOLIS
  • Finanziamento atteso €40 000
  • Partner di progetto IUSS Pavia
  • Responsabili scientifici Emanuele Giuseppe Sommario

Hydro-geological instability is one of the most serious natural hazards Italy is facing. According to a 2021 ISPRA Report, almost 94% of Italian municipalities are exposed to landslides, floods and coastal erosion risk. This risk tends to increase due to the impact of climate change.

In recent years, the international community, and the European Union in particular, have adopted several instruments to enhance the prevention and management of flood events, such as the 2015 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Floods Directive (2007/60/EC). The latter requires EU member states to assess flood risks, draw up hazard maps and prepare management plans.
Italy has therefore committed to adopting a series of measures to counter hydro-geological instability, reduce the risk of disasters, and effectively manage the response to flooding events. In this framework, investments and reforms are being planned, most recently in the Recovery and Resilience Plan.
Against this background, the project aims to critically analyse the state of implementation of legislation on countering hydro-geological instability in Italy, in the light of international and EU obligations. As a case study, the project focuses on the Northern Apennine and Po River Districts, with the aim of elaborating a regulatory and technical revision of the respective Flood Risk Management Plans. The ultimate goal is to present recommendations to EU, national and local decision-makers to improve the implementation of legislation on the prevention and management of flood events and countering hydro-geological instability.

The project adopts an interdisciplinary approach, combining legal and engineering perspectives. The project is coordinated by Emanuele Sommario, Professor of International Law at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (SSSA) and Mario Martina, Professor of Hydraulic and Maritime Constructions and Hydrology at IUSS Pavia. Research fellows Riccardo Luporini (SSSA) and Marcello Arosio (IUSS) work on the project.