September 6 to 10, 2005, Villa Olmo, Como Italy
The Como 2005 Congress represents the conclusive event of the International Project entitled .Dark Nature - Rapid Natural
Change and Human Responses., financed by ICSU (International Council for Science)
and endorsed by international organisations such as IUGS (International
Union of Geological Sciences), UNESCO/IGCP
(International Geological Correlation Programme), and INQUA
(International Union for Quaternary Research).
The project has been articulated in a series of events hosted by countries such as Mauritania (January 2004), Mozambique
(Novembre 2004), Argentina (April 2005), Canada (June 2005), and is intended to foster multidisciplinar discussion
centered on environmental sustainability, keeping into consideration the role of natural processes in causing damages
to man and the environment. It is worth pointing out that the influence of events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions,
tsunamis, which are not caused by human activities, is usually underestimated by politicians and local administrators in
Italy and the rest of Europe.
In order to pursue sustainability, our society needs to make a major effort aimed at the prevision and mitigation of the
effects of such natural catastrophic events.
By investigating the effects of rapid natural changes, during the last millennia, on the existence and destiny of the
civilisations that preceded us, we might be able to contribute to a new perspective (alternative to the current school
of thought that holds that nature is essentially good, and man is the prime cause of environmental catastrophes) based
on a more careful recognition of the role played by nature in bringing rapid and radical changes to the Earth.s surface.
The key issues of the project are:
The main topics which will be presented and discussed at the Como 2005 event, are:
- The need to separate natural causes of environmental catastrophes, from man-induced ones.
- The necessity to integrate .rapid natural changes. implications into the general strategy of sustainable development.
In consideration of the relevance of the event, national and local journalists will be invited to actively participate
in the work sessions, with the purpose of disseminating information aimed at increasing awareness of policy makers,
practitioners, and the interested lay public.
- the meaning of sustainability in areas subject to rapid natural changes;
- natural hazards and the media;
- the new data collected during recent studies of the great lacustrine basins of Lombardy (Lario and Sebino);
- the melting of permafrost and the development of landslides in Italy: the Valpola case study.
- the impact of rapid natural changes on the socio-economic conditions of local communities: the Piuro case study (1618);
- the prevention and mitigation of seismic and volcanic risk in Italy.