Awarded an Erasmus+ project to promote research and education on Biosphere Reserves in Southern Mediterranean Academies
Sept. 30, 2018 | Abertis Foundation
A consortium of institutions who got in contact through the UNESCO International Centre for the Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves (UICMBR) have been awarded approx. 1 million euros through the European Commission´ Erasmus+ funding scheme. The project is called Edu-BioMed, it will officially start next month and has as main objective the strengthening, amelioration and upgrading of the academic activity at four Moroccan and Lebanese Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the context of Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves (BRs), in collaboration and through networking with BRs’ stakeholders (citizens, visitors, managers and technicians), public administrations and EU Partners. These four targeted academies are the Cadi Ayyad University (Marrakesh); the Mohammed V University (Rabat); the University Saint Joseph (Beirut) and the American University of Beirut. The objective will be pursued by a consortium of organizations the French Aix Marseille University, the Rome-based Union for the Mediterranean University (UNIMED), MAB France, and the Association for the Protection of Jabal Moussa. The project coordination will be held by the Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. After an in-depth analysis of the inertias at the intersection of knowledge fragmentation between and within HEIs, needs and demands from BR citizens and staff, and policy frameworks, the Consortium will gather to set the work agenda by means of thematic workshops in Jabal Moussa BR (Lebanon) in early-April. The idea is to build an infrastructure for the flow of knowledge made of (i) IT systems for data management and sharing; (ii) ‘citizen science’ tools to engage civil society as co-producer of knowledge; (iii) training for teachers from the South at a Winter School in Europe; (iv) international mobility and internship schemes for teachers and learners to conduct collaborative case study research in BRs; (v) scientific and education materials –including a MOOC course; (vi) curricula upgrading. The initiative will align Region 3 HEIs’ activity with territorial needs; innovate their research capacity; promote internationalization and openness; enrich staff’s expertise; enable mutual learning between stakeholders; enhance the interdisciplinary character. Overall, the project is expected to involve more than 100 people.