4 February 2020 12.00

On 28 January, a press conference for the presentation of the first three years of activity (2017-2019) of the Italian Navy High North research programme has been held in the Library in Palazzo Marina, in the presence of the Chief of the Italian Navy, Admiral Giuseppe Cavo , and the Ambassador of Norway in Rome, Margit Fredrikke Tveiten.

In the three-year period 2017-2019, the High North research programme has been developed in support of both the national and international scientific community for the study of marine ecosystem in the Svalbard Archipelago and the Arctic Ocean in relation to global change. The Italian Navy has played an active role in the conduct of this activity through its Hydrographic Institute, acting as 'National marine focal point for the Arctic research activities', and taking part in several international specialist meetings and working groups.

The strong impact of climate change on the Arctic makes this region a crucial issue for the global economy. Italy's commitment – through the Italian Navy - to scientific research is aimed at guaranteeing security, free exchange and free use. The Chief of the Italian Navy opened the conference stressing the crucial importance of deepening the knowledge of the Arctic and highlighting the results obtained during these three years of activity.

In her speech, Roberta Ivaldi, Professor of Marine Geology and scientific coordinator of High North, who took part in the three “High North" campaigns, underlined the importance of this programme, referring to the early stages and strong points of the project, including the synergy among its participants as well as their commitment and professionalism. These factors indeed enabled NRV Alliance to fulfill its mission: 189 measuring stations; sediment sampling in 21 sites; 234 water sampling and characterizations 120 radar and visible satellite images; 12 missions conducted by unmanned aerial vehicles and 10 by unmanned undersea vehicles, and exploration of 6427 square kilometres of sea floor.

All these results serve as starting point for the next High North three-year period 2020-2022.