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University of Helsinki Department of Geography
Department of Geography
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Paola Minoia Ph. D.
University Researcher

PhD in Human Geography, University of Padua, Italy

Department of Geography

Mail address: P.O. Box 64 (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2)
University of Helsinki

tel.: +358-(0)9-191 51638,
email: paola.minoia(at)helsinki(dot)fi


Research interests
  • Development geography
  • Political geography
  • Water management
  • Tourism and sustainability
  • Environmental policies
  • Territorialisation processes
  • Mediterranean and African studies


My research is mainly focused on issues of development (and post-development) geography, and particularly on the neo-liberalism principles that influence local decision-makers in developing countries, in the field of water and agricultural management; the impacts on the local livelihoods and ecosystems; and the local responses by the civil society. The research is currently focussing the Middle East region in particular; while previous analyses were considering the Sahel, the Sudan and South Africa.
I have been involved in various international projects during my work as Post-Doc researcher at the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice, Interdepartmental Centre for Dynamic Interactions between Economics, Environment and Society (IDEAS), since 2001.

1) 2005-2008 LOGOS-MED, “Local Governance of Sustainable Development in the Mediterranean” , funded by the Italian Ministry of University of Research (MIUR/FIRB). Tasks: project design, coordination of the initial phase, and researcher. My research focuses on the relations between local institutions and civil society in water management, in line with the current policies shifting from a State management to neo-liberal processes. Case studies: of the Djaffara aquifer in Tunisia, Sebou and Tafilalet in Morocco.
2) 2004-2008: Nostrum-DSS “Network on Governance, Science and Technology for Sustainable Water Resource Management in the Mediterranean. The Role of Dss Tools (Coordination Action, VI Framework Programme of the DG Research EU). Tasks: scientific coordinator of the Venice group, and researcher. I produced a report on conflicts over water in the Mediterranean countries.
3) 2005-08: ADEGEST, “Aménagement, développement local et gestion des territories”, funded by the EU Tempus programme). The project aim is to create a Masters curricula in Territorial Management at the Dept of Geography of the University of Rabat. I coordinated the team of lecturers from the University of Venice and held 2 courses in Rabat.
4) 2005-06: CLIMA, “Euro-Asian research and training in Climate change Management” , funded by Europaid, (Asialink for the period 2006-2009). I designed the project and coordinated the initial phase.
5) 2004-08: EDUCOM@MED, “Education in Coastal Management for the Mediterranean”, funded by the EU Tempus programme. The project aim is to create an international Masters in Coastal Management. My work was in designing the project and lecturing in 2 courses.
6) 2002-06 : RIM, “Réseau interdisciplinaire Méditerranéen, eau et tourisme“, funded by MIUR (Interlink programme). I designed the project, coordinated the initial phase, gave seminars in Morocco and Tunisia, and supervised PhD students during their study periods in Venice.
7) 2001-05: CESD, “Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development in the Mediterranean Coastal Areas”, funded by the Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR/CofinLab programme). I was the project manager and coordinated the junior researchers.

I am part in the following geographical associations and networks:            
- Association of the Italian Geographers (AGEI)
- Re-tour network on tourism.


Selected publications

Minoia P., Guglielmi F. 2008. “Social conflict in Water Resource Management and Environmental impacts in South-Eastern Tunisia”, in: R. Efe, G. Cravins,  M. Öztürk, I. Atalay  (eds.), Natural Environment and Culture in the Mediterranean Region, Cambridge Scholars Press, 257-270.

Borghi R., Camuffo M., Minoia P. 2007 “Cambiamenti sociali e nuove dinamiche territoriali: l’impatto del turismo in ambienti fragili”, in: D. Lombardi (ed.), Rischi e Territorio nel Mondo Globale, AGEI (cd rom).

Minoia P. 2006. “La natura politica e geografica dell’acqua: l’analisi territoriale a fondamento della gestione delle risorse idriche”, Rivista Geografica Italiana, 113, 465-497

Minoia P., Camuffo M. 2006. “Social aspects of conflicting water uses”, Report D6-6 Nostrum-DSS (

Minoia P., Brusarosco A., 2006. “Water Infrastructures Facing Sustainable Development Challenges: Integrated Evaluation of Impacts of Dams on Regional Development in Morocco”, FEEM Working Paper 105.06

Minoia P., Zanetto G., 2006. “Water Poverty and Integrated Evaluation of Water Uses in the Mediterranean Region”, Minbar Aljamiaa, 23, 118-126

Camuffo M., Minoia P., Zanetto G., Malvarez G., 2006. “Educom@med: education in coastal management for the Mediterranean”, W. Leal Filho and M. Salomone (eds), Innovative approaches to Education for Sustainable Development, Peter Lnag, Frankfurt, 73-77

Minoia P., 2005. “Evaluation of Water for an Integrated Water Resources Management in the Middle East: a social and territorial perspective”, in: Food Security under Water Scarcity in the Middle East: Problems and Solutions, A. Hamdy and R. Monti (eds), Options Méditerranéennes, Series A, 65, 425-435

Minoia P., 2005. “Crisi idrica globale, governance dell’acqua e definizione dei valori della risorsa: verso una gestione idrica integrata nel Mediterraneo”, Actes Congrès Environnement et Identité en Méditerranée, Corte, 19-25 juillet 2004, tome I, 326-337

Minoia P., I. Mannino. 2004. “Alternative Tourism for Promoting Sustainable Development: The case of Venice”, in: Reinventing a tourism destination: facing the challenge”, S. Weber, R. Tomljenovic (eds), Institute for Tourism, Zagreb, 179-190.

Agostini P., L. Fagarazzi, P. Minoia. 2004. “Verso una concezione interdisciplinare del paradigma dello sviluppo sostenibile. Un focus sui linguaggi”, Rivista Geografica Italiana, 111, 317-340

Minoia P. 2003 “Greater Khartoum, città di frontiera tra Mediterraneo, Africa e Oriente”, in: Orizzonte Mediterraneo, C. Minca (ed.), Cedam, Padova, 171-194