The city of Baku and the Absheron peninsula located on the north-western part of the South Caspain region experiences earthquakes both from the subduction zone as well as from shallow crustal faults. So far, the region is considered as an area of moderate seismicity, ranked with an intensity VIII on the MSK64 scale but, in particular, with the fall of the Soviet Union, the population of Baku densified tremendously due to a persistent migration of people from rural areas as well as from neighboring countries. The intensified urbanization and an enormous increase in population density have substantially enhanced vulnerability of the city to earthquakes. Most recently, the disaster risk has increased due to overcrowding, erroneous land-planing, inadequately supervised building constructions, insufficient control of infrastructure development and a lack of environmental regulations.
To this regard, the project AZEHR aims at initiation scientific and technological cooperation between the Helmholtz Center Potsdam - GFZ and the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences and at extending the international dialogue between researchers in the aforementioned fields. The strong visibility of such a partnership, which is also based on a signed Memorandum of Understanding, is essential when long-term cooperation and long-term goals are sought. Besides the initiation of scientific activities, the project also aims at capacity building, i.e. the organization of workshops and the international exchange of scientists, which will lead to a closer involvement of the local partners, aiming at a significant contribution to sustainability with its determinate social order.