Symposium on 135th anniversary of Milutin Milankovic's birth

BELGRADE - A science symposium dedicated to the anniversary of the birth of great Serbian and world scientist Milutin Milankovic is taking place at the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU) from September 3 to 5.

Symposium on 135th anniversary of Milutin Milankovic's birth

The symposium has been declared open by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, who on that occasion called for preservation of natural resources, primarily water as the most precious one.

There is less and less pure spring water, Nikolic said, adding that Serbia needs to improve the implementation of the integrated water management.

President Nikolic also noted that functional water supply systems make up only 48 percent of the total number, one in three being of high risk, and that is the reason why the country needs to speed up activities for protection and sustainable use of water.

Speaking about Milutin Milankovic, in honor of whom this symposium is being held, Nikolic underlined the importance of the scientist's research work and worldwide acclaim that it brought him.

“Milutin Milankovic's legacy and his pioneer scientific work in the field of climate change must not only be a topic on the anniversary or in times of natural disasters, but rather a constant call for doing our best to prevent adverse scenarios, learn more about the changes around us, so that nature does not surprise us every time and catch us unprepared for its challenges,” Nikolic underscored.

SANU President Nikola Hajdin said that the problems with water and the climate change, and the issues relating to food and energy, are one of the most serious that the humankind will face, and noted that they have been caused by a rapid increase in the number of people on Earth.

"The floods that we had in the region this year are yet another reminder that achieving the globally proclaimed goal of sustainable water management will be a great struggle in the future," Hajdin said.

Serbia is facing the difficult task of attempting to revitalize the water management systems it already has and build the new water management facilities it needs, he said.

"Most certainly, it will not be an easy process, but one that will require much effort and organized work", Hajdin said.

Wednesday's conference on water management was also attended by Patriarch Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church and Serbian Minister without portfolio for Emergency Situations Velimir Ilic.

At the symposium, renowned scientists, academicians and university professors from Serbia and around the world will present the latest results of research in the field of water management in transition countries amid climate and other global changes.

The topic of the plenary meeting is Water Management in Transition Countries as Impacted by Climate and Other Global Changes, Lessons from Paleoclimate and Regional Issues.

Over the next two days, the seminar participants will discuss topics such as Water Management in Transition Countries, Climate in the Past - Lessons for the Future and Regional Aspects of Climate Change.

The symposium features the participation of representatives of the World Bank, the European Commission, regional water management organizations, the SANU, the National Bank of Serbia, the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia, and the Belgrade-based Jaroslav Cerni Institute for the Development of Water Resources (JCI).

The results of the UNESCO symposium will be used for defining program areas for the 7th World Water Forum that will be held in Daegu-Gyeongbuk (Korea) in April 2015.

Milutin Milankovic (1879-1958) was a Serbian mathematician, geophysicist, construction engineer, climate scientist and astronomer, and founder of the Department of Celestial Mechanics at the University Of Belgrade Faculty Of Mathematics.

Milankovic is one of the world's most distinguished scientists, known for his theory of ice ages, which links variations in eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession of the Earth's orbit to long-term climate changes. This theory is known as Milankovitch Cycles.

During his rich and creative career he developed and proposed a revised Julian calendar, which led to the development of a single and the most accurate calendar so far, more accurate than both the Julian and Gregorian calendars.

He was elected a regular member of the SANU in 1924, and a corresponding member of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts the following year.

Milankovic was also a member of the “Leopoldina” Imperial German Academy of Natural Scientists in Halle and many science societies at home and abroad.

The science symposium is being held in commemoration of 135 years since Milankovic's birth. It is organized by the SANU, the JCI and the UNESCO Centre for Water for Sustainable Development and Adaptation to Climate Change (WSDAC) at the JCI.

Photo Tanjug, Rade Prelic