Professor Maria Ana Baptista from Portugal was elected on Friday 29 May 2020 as the new Chairperson for the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for North-Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and Connected Seas Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/NEAMTWS). Professor Costas Synolakis becomes the new ICG/NEAMTWS vice-chair. The organization of the vote was by correspondence conducted at the UNESCO Headquarters. The IOC Executive Secretary, Mr Vladimir Ryabinin congratulated Professor Maria Ana Baptista and Professor Costas Synolakis to be elected as the new ICG/NEAMTWS Officers for the period 2020-2021.
The Programme Specialist and Technical Secretary of ICG/NEAMTWS, Dr Denis Chang Seng thanked the outgoing ICG/NEAMTWS Officers, Dr Gerassimos Papadopoulos (Greece), Dr Stefano Lorito (Italy) and Dr Anna von Gyldenfeldt (Germany) for their leadership and valuable contributions to the ICG/NEAMTWS.
Professor Maria Ana Baptista
Professor Coastas Synolakis
The new ICG/NEAMTWS Officers strategy is to: foster the involvement and the implementation of National Tsunami Warning Centers in Maghreb countries of the NEAM region; contributing to capacity building goal of the UN Ocean Science Decade for Sustainable Development; and further improve tsunami public awareness and resilience in the NEAM region, by creating Tsunami Ready Communities.
Maria Ana Baptista is a Professor at the Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa and a researcher at Instituto Dom Luiz, University of Lisbon. She holds a habilitation title in Geophysics and Geo-information Sciences, PhD in Physics – Geophysics University of Lisbon. Her scientific interests are: tsunamis, earthquakes and other natural hazards. She was vice-chairperson of the ICG/NEMATWS from 2007 till 2011. She actively collaborated with IPMA (Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera) in the implementation of the Portuguese Tsunami Service Provider of the NEAM region. In 2010, she was awarded the Tsunami Society International Award. She authors and co-authors several scientific publications http://idl.ul.pt/baptista.htm
Professor Costas Synolakis is Secretary of the Division of Natural Sciences, Academy of Athens, Greece. He is the Chair of Earth Sciences in the 39-person Academy of Athens, which is the only Greek National Academy. The 39 members represent arts, letters, sciences, medicine, law and engineering. He is a global leader in coastal engineering. Over the past three decades, he has made significant contributions in the areas of tsunami research and engineering, water wave theory, breaking waves, run-up, near-shore ocean processes, erosion related to sea-level change, seismology, marine geosciences and volcanism. His impact is evidenced by the wide adoption of his contributions for tsunami warning, hazard assessment, and mitigation, resulting in many people saved. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) honoured Costas E. Synolakis, Ph.D., with the 2019 International Coastal Engineering Award for his three-decade-long pioneering efforts in the field of tsunami research, which has not only transformed scientists' understanding of tsunamis but also saved countless lives.