GSDM Associate Silvia Venier Coordinates a Research Project on Protection against CBRN Risks

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GSDM Associate Silvia Venier has begun recently to coordinate a new research project that commenced on 1 March 2020 on the topic of ‘International legal obligations related to Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery from CBRN events (Chemical, Biological and Radio-Nuclear) and status of their implementation in Italy’ (CBRN-ITALY).

The project is being funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research under the ambitious PRIN Programme (Research Projects of Nation-Wide Relevance) and will last three years (2020-2023). In this project, Silvia will coordinate the four Research Units involved, including the Scuola Sant’Anna in Pisa. that serves as the coordinating Institution, and the Universities of Bologna, Firenze and Turin. The project will benefit too from the establishment of an Advisory Board comprising relevant groups of practitioners so that the latest developments in all related sectors are reflected fully in the project’s outcomes.

This cutting-edge project opportunity will allow Silvia to deepen the research carried out during her PhD on CBRN protection. The central motivation behind this new project is the fact that only limited attention has been devoted to developing a common understanding of the ‘all-hazard’ approach with reference to CBRN risks and to discussing the role of multiple actors potentially involved. This includes the need for increased mapping of all the obligations stemming from the wide range of applicable norms (e.g., principles and treaties) at the international level and to exploring the implementation of applicable norms (e.g., legislation and regulations) at the domestic level.

The principal sought project outputs are:

- A consistent definition of CBRN events and of the actors involved;
- The systematic and comprehensive analysis of all existing obligations both in time of war and in time of peace, mapped according to the four phases of the emergency management cycle, including prevention (i.e. measures aimed at mitigating the risk of a CBRN event), preparedness (e.g. measures aimed at developing response capabilities should a CBRN emergency occur), response (e.g. standards and best practices to adopt in order to adequately respond and minimise the risks) and recovery (e.g. duties to ensure a timely recovery from a CBRN event);
- The investigation of the adequacy of the Italian legal and operative frameworks in order to explore to what extent these are in line with international obligations and internationally recognized standards; and
- The development of a set of recommendations on how best to strengthen the legal, policy and operative frameworks to face CBRN risks at the global, regional and national levels.

It is hoped that the research outcomes, that will be presented through working papers and summary reports available on the project’s website ( will be beneficial not only to Italy but to the other countries and to all the different actors that are currently involved in protecting against CBRN risks broadly defined.

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