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Main Research Projects

Funding: HORIZON Europe program of the European Union
Period of implementation: 2023-2027
Partners: Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW)-coordinator; Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH); Estonian University of Life Sciences (EMU); University of Copenhagen (UCPH); Universidade de Coimbra (UC); ALMA MATER STUDIORUM-Università di Bologna (UNIBO); Institute of Geography of the Romanian Academy (IGAR), Bialystok University of Technology (BUT); University of Latvia (UL); Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra (SUA); Institute of Social Ecology (SEC); Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO); Charles University Prague (CUNI); LUT University (LUT); Vilnius University (VU)

The project aims to develop, test and implement integrated tools that can improve our understanding of the factors behind land-use decisions in Europe. Furthermore, the project aims to explore the awareness and engagement of agricultural and land-use stakeholders in relation to the challenges of climate change and biodiversity.
Europe-LAND pursues a set of national-level analyses (e.g., harmonization of fragmented data) and land-use surveys, implemented by eight local case studies as demonstrators, as well as comprehensive capacity-building identify, develop, test and implement integrated tools to improve the understanding of the drivers behind land-use decisions as well as stakeholders' awareness and engagement regarding climate change and biodiversity challenges in Europe.

For more information, please visit the project's website:

Period of implementation: 2021-2022
Funding: The World Bank

The project aims to develop flood hazard and flood risk maps (FHRM) and flood risk management plans (FRMP) for all twelve Units of Management of Romania, i.e. for 11 river basins and for the Danube River, in line with the EU Floods Directive.
Furthermore, the assignment also aims to develop a plan for measures that are to be taken nationally.

Programme: ERA-NET Cofund MarTERA
Period of implementation: 2020-2023

Partners: FLUIDION; Sorbonne Université, Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat: expérimentations et approches numériques (LOCEAN); BEIA Consult International; Constanta Maritime University, Faculty of Electronics and Telecommunications; Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy

Project PIMEO AI targets the development and operational use in multiple representative environments of an artificial-intelligence (AI) powered unmanned surface vehicle (USV) that is capable to perform complete suites of water quality measurements in all types of sensitive aquatic ecosystems. The resulting PIMEO AI USV will be a next-generation advanced analysis tool for studying sensitive ecosystems, identifying pollution sources, and mapping their environmental impact. It will fill an important market need for comprehensive water quality USVs, the market today being highly limited and aimed primarily at hydrology research.
PIMEO AI will be tested operationally in highly-sensitive and fragile ecosystems that are subject to increasing anthropic pressures. Three distinct ecosystems will be studied:
- France: a lake in a dense urban environment (Créteil lake), used for recreational activities but subject to regular pollution events;
- Romania: the Danube delta - one of the largest and the best-preserved European river deltas, subject to different types of pollution and eutrophication;
- Romania: coastal waters in the Constanta area, affected by frequent microbiological pollution episodes.
The PIMEO AI project aims to fill a major need for versatile instrumentation platforms capable to operate in a minimally-invasive fashion in highly diverse aquatic environments, carry complex water quality instrumentation, and integrate the embedded intelligence required to adaptively monitor the local environment.
Institute of Geography is involved in the integrated assessment of ecosystem services by the identificaton of relevant socio-economic and environmental indicators, and also by analysing stakeholders' perception regarding the value and benefits of ecosystem services, an important aspect of management and conservation activities.

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Project coordinator: Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic
Period of implementation: 2020-2022
Funding: HORIZON 2020 Programme

The SPOT project aims to develop a new approach to understanding and addressing cultural tourism and to promote the development of disadvantaged areas. Specifically, it will identify different layers of data and capitalise on existing practice. It will explore emerging forms of cultural tourism, identifying opportunities and developing strategies to allow local people to gain benefit from their precious cultural assets. SPOT will engage academics and stakeholders in the development of policy proposals and generalise lessons learnt through an Innovation Tool to assist policymakers and practitioners. The consortium is composed of 15 partners from 14 European countries and Israel. With a diverse team the project will bring in a wide range of knowledge, inspirations and ideas including close cooperation with the local, regional or national stakeholders.
The consortium is composed of 15 partners from 14 European countries and Israel. With a diverse team the project will bring in a wide range of knowledge, inspirations and ideas including close cooperation with the local, regional or national stakeholders.

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Project coordinator: Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy
Period of implementation: 2019-2021
Funding: Romanian Academy Grants 2019-2021 under the program "Humanities" (GAR-UM-2019-2021)

The project is aiming to process, through adaptation and valorization (maps), different sets of statistical indicators for assessing the socio-economic vulnerability to extreme climatic events (e.g. drought, blizzard) from multi-scales (national, regional and local levels) and multi-criteria (agriculture, human health, infrastructure and services for ecosystems key-domains) perspectives.
The results will consist in a guide with measures for minimizing the socio-economic vulnerability of selected key-domains, based on a conceptual model for adapting the sets of statistical indicators at different territorial scales.

Project coordinator: Constanta Maritime University
Period of implementation: 2018-2020 " Priority Axis: Energy, environment, climate change

The HORESEC project supports smart specialization in the field of energy, by the holistic analysis of the impact of energy sources on climate change, as well as the evolution and progress of knowledge towards the sustainable development of Romania.
The main objectives of the project are to assess:
- the increase of the share of the renewable energy sources and its influence on the evolution of the environment and climate;
- the adaptation of the sources of photovoltaic and wind energy production to the dynamics of renewable energy growth in total energy production;
- the dynamics of the relationship between heat and electricity produced from biomass;
- the evolution of long-term storage solutions for environmentally sustainable energy;
-the transformations of the energy system by maximizing the production of energy from renewable sources based on a pilot installation.

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Project coordinator: National Institute for Research and Development for Biological Sciences-INCDSB
Period of implementation: 2018-2019

The DANS project aims to support the activities to be carried out by Romania in line with the commitment to coordinate the development of DANUBIUS-RI ( and to participate in the construction of the three-component infrastructure: Murighiol International Scientific Center DANUBIUS-RI Hub), the DANUBIUS-RI Data Center and the study area (supersite) of the Danube Delta.
The final goal of this project is to accomplish at the end of the implementation period all the objectives and activities necessary to submit the necessary documentation for the European Commission's agreement to designate DANUBIUS-RI in Romania as a Major Project and to develop the DANUBIUS-RO research strategy in consistent with the European strategy DANUBIUS-RI resulting from H2020-DANUBIUS-PP.

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Project coordinator: General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations
Period of implementation: 2016-2018
Funding: European Social Fund, through the Operational Program Administrative Capacity 2014-2020

The objectives of the project were the fulfillment of the EU ex-ante conditionality of Romania in terms of risks prevention and management.
The project targeted the evaluation of the main risks affecting Romania: floods, droughts, forest fires, earthquakes, landslides, SEVESO accidents caused by dangerous substances, nuclear risk, epidemics and transportation of hazardous materials (biological hazards and risks). Also, the project developed a methodology for a unitary evaluation of all risks (scenario development, different impacts-physical, economic, social and psychological, risk matrix).

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Project identification code: PN-II-PT-PCCA-2011-3.1-1587
Funding framework: PN II Program - Partnerships in Priority Areas, Research Direction: 4. Environment
Project Promoter: Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy
Partners: P1-Institute of Hydrology and Water Management, P2-University of Bucharest (Faculty of Geography), P3-The National Research and Development Institute for Optoelectronics INOE2000
Period of implementation: 2012-2016

The main research objectives of the VULMIN project were to assess flood/flash-flood hazard, the socio-economic vulnerability and resilience to flood risks on different spatial scale (from local to national) in Romania. The project aimed to contribute to the development of new methodologies for identification of flood-prone areas along the main rivers at national scale and to the improvement of the existing approaches for assessing vulnerability of human settlements and environment, adaptive capacity and resilience to hydrological hazards. Within VULMIN, flood/flash flood hazard and related vulnerability have been studied in detail in three representative case study areas: the Timiş-Bega Low Plain, the Teleajen-Buzău Subcarpathians and the Tecuci City/Tecuci Plain.
Additional research goals of the project were to assess the drinking water quality in the flood-affected areas, to investigate the effects of climate change on the maximum discharge regime in three representative river basins (Timiş, Bega, Teleajen, Buzău and Bârlad) and to assess the community perception to flood and flash-flood risks. Through its results, the project provides the scientific base for a better understanding of the susceptibility, hazard and vulnerability to floods in Romania, adapted to the needs of different users and stakeholders, that could support the decision making process in flood risk management through definition of quantifiable and differentiated measures in line to the specificity of river basins.
Project results have been published in Hazard, vulnerability and resilience to floods in Romania -Approaches on different spatial scales (Bălteanu, D., Micu, D., Chende ş, V. - eds), Romanian Academy Publishing House, Bucharest, 2020.

Contact person: Dr. Dan Bălteanu (

Project coordinator: Geneve University (UNIGE), Switzerland
Period of implementation: 2009-2012

The main duties of the Institute of Geography in the framework of this project (WP5 - Task 5.3 Agriculture and Task 5.6 Disasters Early Warning, Sub-task 5.6.2. Invasive Terrestrial Plant Species in the Romanian protected areas) were related to:
-Setting up a GIS-based national data-base on Invasive Plant Species (ITPS) in Romania with special focus on the protected areas;
-Evaluation of the ITPS in the Romanian protected areas by identifying and analyzing the main environmental driving forces (natural and human-induced) responsible for their introduction and spread;
-Developing an invasive terrestrial plant species potential distribution model (ITPS-podismod) able to predict their distribution, spread and recurrence in the selected protected areas from the five biogeographical regions of Romania: Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve (for the pontic bioregion), Măcin Mountains National Park (for the steppic bioregion), Mureş Floodplain Natural Park (for the pannonic bioregion), Comana Natural Park (for the continental bioregion) and Rodna Mountains National Park and Maramureş Mountains Natural Park (for the alpine bioregion);
-Accomplishing a historical overview of land property and land relations in Modern Times Romania, land reforms, policy-related changes (land reforms, land use changes and dynamics, land fund under the transition to the market economy and EU accession etc.); agricultural land use by type and form of property; animal breeding;
-Identifying the causes of agricultural changes in Romania - as a part of the former communist block, sharing common evolution trends and particularities with other former communist countries (Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic etc);
-Modelling agri-environmental issues with the GIS-based EPIC model by identifying of important/relevant agri-environmental issues and potential impact areas by selecting relevant national level indicators in order to apply a country level GIS-based Environmental Policy Impact Calculator (GEPIC) model.

Between 2011 and 2014, the Institute of Geography has been involved in the FP 7 Project CHANGES. The CHANGES network was develop an advanced understanding of how global changes (related to environmental and climate change as well as socio-economical change) will affect the temporal and spatial patterns of hydro-meteorological hazards and associated risks in Europe; how these changes can be assessed, modeled, and incorporated in sustainable risk management strategies, focusing on spatial planning, emergency preparedness and risk communication.
Romania hosted one of the project's four case-studies, represented by Buzau County. The researches have been conducted within the Institute of Geography and the Patarlagele Natural Hazards Research Centre.
A series of 12 Ph.D positions, financed by the European Community, were available within the European Marie Curie Initial Training Network CHANGES.

Co-financial project's number: 140EU/2011
Management Authority: Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding
Period of implementation: 2011-2013
Research and Development national domain: 3. Environment
Project coordinator: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)

Scope of ECLISE project: to take the first step towards the realisation of a European Climate Service.
ECLISE is a European effort in which researchers, in close cooperation with users, develop and demonstrate local climate services to support climate adaption policies. It does so by providing climate services for several climate-vulnerable regions in Europe, organized at a sectorial level: coastal defence, cities, water resources and energy production. Furthermore, ECLISE will define, in conceptual terms, how a pan-European Climate Service could be developed in the future, based on experiences from the aforementioned local services and the involvement of a broader set of European decision makers and stakeholders. The first component of ECLISE constitutes the bulk of the project and is dedicated to the generation of climate information on four selected thematic/sectorial areas in Europe: Coasts, Cities, Water and Energy in close cooperation with local users.
The main objectives of ECLISE were:
- To provide a European perspective to the functionality of climate services and the entrainment of national services into a broader European approach;
- To take a first step towards the realisation of a European Climate Service, addressing climate information needs of the EU and its Member States.
- To capitalize on previous research projects and bring together European climate research expertise and the needs of public and private organizations on future climate information. To further develop local climate services in four areas, Coasts, Cities, Water and Energy, and to make concrete demonstrations of the utility of these services in support of local climate adaptation policies.
- To provide an outline and proof of concept for future European-wide Climate Services.
The Institute of Geography is involved in the ECLISE project with the coordination of 3 local case studies (Baia Mare town, the Vrancea Seismogenic Region and the Baragan Plain) regarding studies on water management issues, landslide and risk assessment and the impact of climate change on urban areas.
Results and impact: The IGAR team was involved in the assessment of current climate variability and climate change up to 2050 for the Baia Mare urban area (Task 4.1); the impact of climate change on agriculture in the Baragan Plain (Task 5.1) and the assessment of landslide and flood hazards and risks in the Vrancea Seismic Region from a climate change perspective. Also, the strong interaction with users of the data was aimed in the project, the project results being supplied according to their needs.

Contact person: Dr. Mihaela Sima (

Project coordinator: Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy
Period of implementation: 2012-2013
Priority Axis: 2. Environment - Sustainable use and protection of natural resources and environment and promotion of efficient risk management in the cross-border area

The project was aiming to improve the already existent information on natural and technological hazards on both Romania and Bulgaria border area and increase transparency in terms of availability and dissemination for all the interested actors (local government, municipalities, emergency situation inspectorates etc.).
The study assessed the incidence of natural and technological hazards in order to ensure environmental protection and sustainable development of the study area.

Project coordinator: Viena City Hall, Austria
Period of implementation: 2009-2012

The main IGAR activities in the framework of this project were related to:
-The application of two land use models: CLUE-S (Conversion of Land Use and its Effects) model -it is a dynamic model, which describes changes in the area of the different land use types. Besides tracking past or historical land use changes, the objective was to explore possible land use changes in the near future under different development scenarios, having a time horizon of about 20 years and GIS-based Environmental Policy Integrated Climate Model-GEPIC model in order to assess the agricultural productivity given certain inputs which might be influenced by climate change (precipitationes, irrigation, etc;
-Elaboration of land use maps and maps of land use changes;
-Assessment of main agricultural-related environmental impact categories in terms of: excessive fragmentation of arable land, very high proportion of subsistence individual farms, poor development of services in agriculture-mechanization, fertilization, irrigation-, marked degradation of land, etc.

Project coordinator: Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (Mpi-M), Hamburg, Germany
Period of implementation: 2006-2009

The Institute of Geography colaborates with several profile institutes from Germany, France, Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria and Romania to a European Union priority project regarding the effects of climate change and variability on the environment and society.
The project coordinator of CLAVIER, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, is a well-known institute with an international recognition for its fundamental researches undertaken for the elaboration of comprehensive models concerning the Earth System.
The CLAVIER project included 3 major objectives which were the main research themes for 7 workpackages (WP). Each workpackage was structured in well defined activities and has c1ear deliverables and milestones.
The CLAVIER objectives were:
-Investigation of ongoing and future climate changes and their associated uncertainties in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC);
-Analyses of possible impact of climate changes in CEEC on weather pattern and extremes, air pollution, human health, natural ecosystems, forestry, agriculture and infrastructure as well as water resources;
-Evaluation of the economic impacts of c1imate changes on CEEC economies, concentrating on four economic sectors, which are agriculture, tourism, energy supply and the public sector.
The structure of the CLAVIER project underlines the importance of both the overall study and the regional research network for CEEC aiming at facilitating the elaboration and dissemination of research outcomes for decision-makers at regional and national levels.