Resource and Disaster Management and Pollution Control (RMP)

Cluster leader: Zoltán Illés

Faculty associated with the cluster: Viktor Lagutov, Ruben Mnatsakanian

Extraction and use of mineral and organic resources have always been essential for human survival, but increased scale and speed of resource extraction today has made human intervention a major force, comparable to major geological transformations. Human activity not only interferes with biogeochemical cycles of many elements and compounds, it also creates huge amounts of pollution and waste which transform natural habitats and living conditions for all living creatures including humans around the world, endangering food and water security. In order to get a clear picture of resource use, pollution control and effects, we need proper and adequate methods of monitoring the present state of the environment, which can also lead to proper predictions of future developments.  In this modern and changing environment, and in the face of global climate change, the probability of extreme events and disasters is also growing, and various innovative tools and applications relevant to disaster risk reduction and the enhancement of community resilience become ever more important.  Researchers associated with RMP study these issues using methods such as environmental modeling, spatial analysis, and information and communication technologies (ICTs). Thematic foci include river basins and water security, watershed management, flood resilience, disaster risk reduction, and food security, Geographic Information Systems and sustainable transport.

Associated working groups:
Environmental Systems Laboratory (Syslab) 
Spatial Mapping and Analysis Research Group (SMARG) 

Ongoing projects:

Ongoing projects include assessing climate change impact on food and water security in Kyrgyzstan using GoogleEarth Engine and other space-related technologies (in cooperation with FAO and American University of Kyrgyzstan), and the evaluation of the impact of climate and land cover changes within watersheds on the Don and Kura river hydrology. 

Research highlights: 

  1. Lagutov, V. (ed). 2011. Environmental Security in Watersheds (NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security) Springer. 
  2. Lagutov, V. (ed). 2008. Rescue of Sturgeon Species in the Ural River Basin (NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security) Springer. 
  3. Lagutov, V. 2008. Sustainable Development of Watersheds: Using Sturgeon Species as an Indicator in Integrated Trans-Boundary Water Management. In: I.E. Gonenc (ed). Sustainable Use and Development of Watersheds. Springer  
  4. Novikov, V., Lagutov V., Sazykina, T., Gorlinskii, Y., Nikol'skii, O. and Pavlenko, V. 2005. Assessment of the Effect of Temporary Storage Sites for Radioactive Wastes on the Territory of the Russian Science Center Kurchatov Institute on the Population and the Environment. Atomic Energy 99. (2): 588. Springer 
  5. Mnatsakanian RA, Cherp A. 2008. Environmental degradation in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia: past roots, present transition and future hopes. In: Heaney D, editor. Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia. London: Routledge.. p. 38-42. 
  6. United Nations Environment Programme. 2007. Global environment outlook 4: Environment for development. Mnatsakanian RA, Bellinger EG, Ürge-Vorsatz D, editors. Nairobi, Kenya London: United Nations Environment Programme.