Desertificazione in Algeria e perché ci interessa: scopriamolo con i ricercatori Polimi

5 idee per il pianeta da mettere a terra subito: il progetto “AMAZING” contro la desertificazione e lo spopolamento delle aree rurali

Each year, the Politecnico di Milano selects 5 research projects with high social impact and, with the economic contribution of donors who choose to donate their 5 per mille Irpef to the University supports them in a phase of grounding “pilot experiences” with concrete impact.

In 2022, for instance, we dealt with 'Local Development and Ecological Transition'. The five selected research groups have until the end of 2024 to concretise their ideas, which are usually short-term realisable projects , though aiming to be replicable and have a long-term effect.

Five projects: one to be developed in Milan, three in Africa and one in Brazil. Their common goal is to green our planet starting with very specific contexts: turning waste into fuel without cutting down trees; tackling climate change in cities; a project for a super-efficient farm that makes the best use of the land’s assets; techniques to breathe new life into a valley in Algeria by combining ancient knowledge and state-of-the-art technology; and cutting-edge orthopaedic solutions to improve health in Lombardy while saving money and respecting the environment.

They are:



The Aurès region around Biskra, not far from the Algerian Sahara, is facing difficult challenges directly and indirectly linked to climate change: desertification, lower agricultural productivity, the crumbling of the rural community fabric, depopulation in the ancient nuclei of traditional settlements and the loss of the knowledge that has made the area habitable and productive for millennia. However, as older inhabitants recall, the valley was once populated by water mills. Our countryside as well could experience a similar fate. The history of the local hydraulic system contributes to giving dimension to the impact of climate change'. The question being answered by researchers is crucial: how can we counteract this state of neglect and restore value to the territories?

The AMAZING project is contributing to making the Uadi Abiod valley, today among the driest in Aurès, the centre of an active network of knowledge production capable of combining technology and traditional sciences in dealing with climatic, natural and social challenges. Prof. Giovanni Porta, from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, talks about it in an interview with Frontiere. ‘It is a vicious circle: as water disappears, agricultural production falls, the workforce leaves, ancient knowledge disappears, villages empty out, shrubs replace palms (and with them a thousand-year-old landscape) and what remains is a barren land with poor development prospects’.

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