Feb 192008

Doctoral Schools are characterised by the association of one or more PhD courses of the same scientific area, by strict relations with the socioeconomic-production system, as well as by documented and recognised cooperations with universities and private and public institutions, even of other countries.

According to the Italian National Evaluation Committee, among the necessary requirements for the Doctoral Schools is the planning of defined educational periods related both to activities common to all the PhD courses present in the School, and to those specific of each individual course.

The Doctoral School in Environmental and Land Engineering and Science of the University of Cagliari has been created in order to promote, organize and manage the educational activities of the PhD courses of the university of Cagliari related to environmental themes.

It therefore gathers the PhD courses in:

-· Geoengineering and Environmental Technologies

-· Earth Sciences

-· Soil Preservation, Environmental Vulnerability and Hydrogeological Protection

-· Environmental and Applied Botany.

The School has the main function of guaranteeing the quality of the third level education service.

Environment protection and improvement are priority topics at international level. European Union is on the front lines in promoting the international cooperation in the environmental field and particularly the assistance to its more disadvantaged partners in the protection of their own environment. The different instruments adopted include the support to educational and research activities. In addition, the main strategies and politics at international level on the environment refer particularly to the Mediterranean area, often linking economic development to social and environmental sustainability, emphasizing the crossover character of the environment and the consequent need of involving the different stakeholders, both public and private, from the planning to the implementation phase.

In this framework the role that can be performed by the Sardinian region is clear, both due to its strategic position in the Mediterranean basin, and for its territorial characteristics. The Sardinian land represents certainly a heritage to be protected for its peculiarity and beauty. The environment exploitation is a strategic aspect for the regional economy and for the development of a sustainable tourism, not only limited to the summer months.

At present the regional territory presents important environmental critical situations, caused by its particular morphological structure and the prevailing socio-economical activities taking place in the island, linked to the peculiar climate characterized by frequent drought periods determining water scarcity. Some of these critical situations are localized, e.g. along the coasts, in the wetlands, close to the abandoned mining sites or along the rivers, whereas others are diffused on wide portions of the region. The effects of such environmental critical issues, peculiar of the Mediterranean basin (coastal erosion, hydrogeological risk, desertification, pollution, salinization of coastal plain, basins eutrophication, loss in biodiversity, etc.) produce serious conditions of environmental and, consequently, socio-economic unbalance. All these aspects stress on the one hand a strong need of protecting the territory and environmental quality aimed at the reduction and mitigation of the described phenomena (also through the development and the use of innovative depolluting technologies) and, on the other hand, the need of a correct use of the land in designing and introducing engineering works and in the rational utilization of environmental resources.

In this sense, an advanced research activity with significant applicable contents is fundamental, as well as the availability of highly specialized figures, able to analyze problems, find solutions and design possible actions, as well as adequately manage the structures and plants devoted to the environment protection.

Sardinia region can then become an interesting research and educational laboratory and constitute an attraction point for Mediterranean countries and others, requiring to acquire specific expertises on those topics. The Doctoral School in Environmental and Land Engineering and Sciences intends to satisfy such demands.

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