The Environment and Sustainable Development Unit (ESDU) of the American University of Beirut (AUB) has been promoting sustainable rural livelihoods and resilient food systems. For that matter, the unit has been focusing on optimizing the relationship between the Food-Energy-Waste-Water nexus pillars. To showcase this strategy, ESDU established the DAWWERA Initiative (Designing Alternatives for Waste, Water, and Energy in Rural Areas) in partnership with relevant stakeholders. In compliance with the DAWWERA concept, ESDU established circular living labs. These labs are an innovative way to structure research and promote/upscale an innovation through testing/validation in real-life contexts while ensuring the engagement of local communities. This event will present Nexus, DAWWERA, and its innovative approach.
|Time Zone UTC+3|
Title of the Session and Speakers
|10:00 am-10:10 am||Introduction and welcome notes- Ms. Sarah Karam, ESDU's Executive officer|
|10:10 am-10:20 am||FEW2 Nexus presentation – Dr. Shady Hamadeh, ESDU's Director|
|10:20 am-10:30 am||Sustainable food production in the FEW2 Nexus – Ms. Lea Salameh, Food security Expert and Project coordinator at ESDU|
|10:30 am-10:40 am||Renewable energy in the FEW2 Nexus – Ms. Amani Dibo, Development Director at Sustain the World|
|10:40 am-10:50 am||Waste management in the FEW2 Nexus – Ms. Joslin Kehdi, Founder and Director of Recycle Lebanon|
|10:50 am-11:00 am||Water management in the FEW2 Nexus - Dr. Hadi Jaafar, Head of AgHive, AUB|
|11 am-11:10 am||DAWWERA's objectives and activities – Ms. Christelle Bou Harb, Renewable Energy Expert and Project Coordinator at ESDU|
|11:10 am-11:20 am||Living lab implemented by ESDU – Eng. Afif Wehbe, Agricultural Engineer and Community Mobilizer at ESDU|
|11:20 am-11:30 am||Q&A|
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Climate 2 Project: Closing Events
As the CLIMAT 2 project came to an end, ESDU organized 3
closing events that took place in Aidamoun-Akkar, Nabi Chit- Baalbak, and
Hasbaya. These events included presenting the project achievements and
activities, the success stories of the participants, testimonies from the
participating coops/organizations about their experience with the project and
their plans to maintain the living labs sustainably, and finally a word from
WFP representatives. The closing events concluded with a visit to the living
labs that were handed to the hosting coops to launch their activities.
FSF Entrepreneurship Program,13th of August 2022
Ms. Lea Salameh, the project coordinator at ESDU, participated in the Farah Social Foundation (FSF) Entrepreneurship Program as a member of the jury. The event gathered 10 young people who pitched their startup ideas to the jury with the aim of winning one of the 3 cash prizes. The program is organized by FSF and Tamkeen.
CORUSUS Project-Closure of Year 1
The CORUSUS project, extending over three years, aims at strengthening teaching, learning, and research by cultivating cooperation to address the sustainability of rural livelihoods in South Africa, Kyrgyzstan, and Lebanon, whilst bolstering the sharing of knowledge and experience between faculty and students of partner institutions. During the project's first year, ESDU participated in ongoing communication with the partners for the planning of the project, conducted research activities revolving around the challenges faced by small-scale livestock keepers in Lebanon, and participated in the rural visit to Kyrgyzstan. This first year laid down the base to identify similarities and differences between the partner countries.
ESDU visits the farmers & producers
ESDU Director, Dr. Shadi Hamadeh, the ESDU team, and Ms. Joanna Hill, representative of the Norwegian Refugee Council, visited farmers/producers who are participating in ESDU's current projects in West Bekaa. The aim of such visits is to assess the impact of ESDU's interventions on the entities and individuals, to know more about their challenges, and to discuss the possibilities of future plans, projects, and partnerships.
CLIMAT 2 Project Updates
In the framework of the CLIMAT 2 project, a group of 75 famers from Baalbek, Hasbaya, and Akkar completed the first part of their trainings. 7 farmers from each area were selected as facilitators who received the advanced training sessions on livestock management, circularity in livestock, business development, and sustainable agriculture.
The Value Chains for Improved Socioeconomic Well-being of Syrian Refugees and Lebanese Host Communities Project
400 farmers and workers from Akkar El Atika, Dawra, Brih, Kherbet Daoud, Rahbe, Houaich, and Kweshra in Akkar participated in a training curriculum about production of herbs and dairies. The sessions were conducted by ESDU's team of experts in the framework of the “Value Chains for Improved Socioeconomic Well-being of Syrian Refugees and Lebanese Host Communities" project.
ESDU welcomes the German Development Minister and WFP Delegation and shares the success of the ISNAD project
As part of her trip to Beirut, Lebanon, German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze visited The Good Food Hub on Monday the 25th of April 2022, with the German ambassador to Lebanon Andreas Kindl and a delegation from the World Food Programme and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Minister Schulze was briefed on the success of the ISNAD project that was implemented by the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit (ESDU) at AUB,the Lebanese League for Women in Business (LLWB), and COSPE onlus in partnership with WFP Lebanon through support from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). ESDU showcased the achievements of the project and offered a space for the guests to meet with some of the project’s participants.
The event was hosted by ESDU at the Good Food Hub and was attended by the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Minister, H.E. Ms. Svenja Schulze; Members of the German Parliament, Mr. Till Mansmann, Ms. Sanae Abdi, and Ms. Deborah Düring; the German Ambassador Mr. Andreas Kindl; the Directors General of Directorate-General at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Mr. Dirk Meyer, Ms. Birgit Pickel and Ms. Christine Toetzke; WFP Delegation including the Assistant Executive Director Ms. Ute Klamert, WFP Representative and Country Director Lebanon Mr. Abdallah Alwardat, and WFP Director from WFP Global Office Germany Mr. Martin Frick; AUB Provost, Dr. Zaher Dawy, FAFS I/Dean, Dr. Ammar Olabi, COSPE Head of Mission in Lebanon Ms. Francesca Annetti; LLWB Executive Manager Ms. Nisreen Deeb, and ESDU Team.
Innovation System Networks for Agricultural Development Based on Gender Inclusion and Eco-Entrepreneurship (ISNAD) was implemented in Northern Lebanon, the Bekaa and Baalbek. In light of the current socio-economic crisis, the project promoted the local food system and supported 575 small-scale farmers and producers and 31 cooperatives. It also aimed at enhancing product quality, integrating innovation in authentic food production, promoting sustainable agricultural practices and facilitating market linkages.
Forum for the Mediterranean
Ms. Cynthia Kreidy, project coordinator at ESDU-AUB, participated in the Mediterranean forum as an appeal ambassador on February 6, 7, and 8 in Marseille, France. Cynthia was part of a working group that had worked for 6 months on a report with actionable recommendations for a more inclusive and sustainable Mediterranean. The recommendations were delivered to actors from the civil society, donors and decision-makers during the forum.
CLIMAT 2 Project - Living Labs
Three living labs are being established in Hasbaya, Akkar and Baalbek in the framework of CLIMAT 2 project in partnership with the local communities. Each unit will include a barley sprouting unit, solar system, rain harvest unit, and a composting unit. These living labs aim at promoting circular economy, interactively exploring, experimenting and evaluating new techniques and technologies, fostering capacity building and awareness raising, and supporting local famers and producers.
CLIMAT 2 Project Updates: February 2022
75 farmers and shepherds from Hasbaya, Akkar, and Baalbek regions finished the first cycle of training sessions in the framework of CLIMAT 2 project. In the second phase, 7 participants from each region were selected to attend the extensive training sessions on climate change mitigation and adaption. The selected Farmers and shepherds are expected to become facilitators, where they can play a significant role in disseminating the knowledge to their communities.
CLIMAT and Ardi Ardak Article | The MainGate Magazine | Spring/Summer 2020
An informative article by MainGate about ESDU’s CLIMAT project and Ardi Ardak National Food Security Initiative. Discover valuable insights from professor and director of ESDU Dr. Shady Hamadeh, M&E officer Sarah Karam, program investor and former President of LLWB Asma Zein, and Lebanese farmer Kassem El Chab.
Letter of Gratitude | August 2020
Ever since the catastrophic explosion transformed Beirut forever and sent shock waves around the world on August 4th, ESDU and FHF have been hard at work in the Akleh community kitchen in Beirut and the kitchen of Khayrat Bekaana Coop in El Khiara – West Bekaa to provide hot meals to the victims of the blast through our “Cooking For Beirut" emergency relief effort under the Ardi Ardak initiative.
Our work would not have been possible without the kindness and generosity of our partners, donors, chefs and dedicated volunteers who have supported and sustained our efforts during these tiring times. Over the last three weeks with the help of 39 volunteers and 26 ESDU and FHF team member volunteers, we cooked and delivered 3,002 hot meals, and received 17,819,420 LBP along with numerous in-kind donations which included vegetables and other cooking ingredients from The Green Van, Mada Association and many other generous individuals.
While our team was handling cooking and packaging in the kitchens, distribution was done in collaboration with different partners including the Lebanese Food Bank and the Center for Civic Engagement in AUB.
Due to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown and to ensure the safety of our team and volunteers, we will be transitioning into a new phase of our relief work. After discussions with the partners who are working on the ground directly with the affected families, we have decided to put the production of hot meals on hold and provide mouneh boxes instead to displaced citizens who are able to cook in their kitchens or in temporary shelters.
Committed to contributing to the revival of the local economy and maintaining food security, we will ensure the donations we receive are used to procure the content of the mouneh boxes from small local farmers and producers, local SMEs and coops in rural areas.
Although “thank you" doesn't encapsulate the extent of our gratitude, we would like to acknowledge and express our appreciation to the following beautiful souls that have helped us stay cooking and aid those in need during this crisis:
Partners: Environment and Sustainable Development Unit in AUB, Food Heritage Foundation, Lebanese League for Women in Business , Lebanese Food Bank, Khayrat Bekaana Coop, Zico House, Le Passport Culinaire, Akleh Community Kitchen
ESDU Volunteers: Afif Wehbe, Angy Keirouz, Camille Cesbron, Cynthia Kreidy, Danny Mansour, Gaelle Abboud, Ghida El Dirany, Haidar Sleiman, Hind Naim, Ingrid Abou Zeid, Juliette Amidi, Lamisse Khairallah, Lea Salameh, Mabelle Chedid, Marwa Soubra, Mohamed Dbeibo, Nadim Rawda, Nicolas Gholam, Patricia Kebbe, Petra Chedid, Rebecca Khoury, Sarah Karam, Yara Sleiman, Yasmina Olabi, Zuhair and Camilla Zeineddine
Community Volunteers: Chef Fares Naddaf, Chef Hassan Hamoud, Chef Jean Richa, Chef Joseph Khoury, Chef Khaled Succarieh, Chef Nawal Aoun, Chef Wael Harrouz
Afaf Rachkidi, Ahmad Al Khalidi, Alexandra Mikhael, Arsha Mazloum, Christelle Mattar, Corinne Eid, Dima Ghaddar, Hussein Al Khalidi, Jessica Bou Tanious, Joey Ragheb, Joumana El Khechen, Karim El Husseini, Layal Sasso, Mariane Abu Jawde, Marie-Lynn Issa, Marielou Kreidy, Marwa El Kechen, Maurice Riachy, Maya Sabbah, Michelle Daou, Mira El Hassan, Mirna Hobeika, Mona Tarboush, Nadim Hamade, Najla Haidar, Nesmat Hammoud, Nour El Hassan, Reem Fawaz, Reine Habchy, Rihab Younis, Rima Kahwaji, Roy Lteif, Sandra Abboud Daher, Sawsan Kassem, Stephanie Gabriel, Yara Hamad, Yara Hammoud, Yasmine El Hajj, Youmna Iskandarani, Zahi Turk, Zeinab Abbas.
With love and gratitude,
The ESDU and FHF team
Cooking for Beirut | Emergency Relief - Beirut Explosion | August 2020
In response to the catastrophic explosion on August 4, 2020 which decimated Beirut and shook the world, ESDU and Food Heritage Foundation team has set up Cooking for Beirut, an emergency relief effort in the framework of Ardi Ardak initiative to feed the city's most vulnerable victims of the tragedy.
The team is cooking and distributing meals on a daily basis from our community kitchens Akleh in Zico House and from the kitchen of Khayrat Bekaena Coop in Khiara village in West Bekaa. For the last weeks, we have been delivering up to 300 meals on a daily basis to families in need and we expect to grow our output.
To sustain our work, we rely on the help of our community. We have been receiving overwhelming support from volunteers and chefs. If you would like to volunteer your time, you can contribute with cash and in kind donations – offering your time to help us cook, package and distribute food.
To volunteer please contact: +961 70 156 866
Donations Hotline: +961 3 234 008
Bank Transfer Details
Name of Bank: Byblos Bank
Account Name: Food Heritage Foundation
Local Transfers in LBP: IBAN LB36 0039 0000 0003 3532 2531 7001
Local Transfers in USD: IBAN LB36 0039 0000 0003 3532 2531 7003
International Transfers in USD: IBAN LB68 0039 0000 0003 3532 2531 7007
International Transfers in EUR: IBAN LB41 0039 0000 0003 3532 2531 7008
Swift Code: BYBALBBX
Dr. Mabelle Chedid participates in the Agricultural Panel Discussion Zareit Albna | July 2020
The panel discussion on agriculture hosted by Open Ideo Beirut Chapter on July 28 was enlightening. Dr. Mabelle Chedid spoke at the event and highlighted the importance of the local food system, consumption and production. We learned that an agricultural strategy with a production calendar is essential to organize food production in Lebanon. This would enable the local market to reach saturation and allow for more importation. The session concluded on an optimistic note, as Dr. Chedid revealed that she considers the skyrocketing prices of imported pesticides, which became unaffordable for local farmers is a great opportunity to adopt organic agricultural practices.
MedSNAIL project progresses in time of COVID-19: first desk reviews by the partners on the state-of-the-art of sustainable agrofood systems in the Mediterranean | May 2020
At present, MedSNAIL is at the stage of mapping products (raw materials, animal breeds, processed products, traditional techniques, recipes) that are present in the area of intervention, these products can fit to the presidia of slow food or the arc of taste, traditional products which are anchored in the culture & agriculture of the area of intervention. The first phase of this mapping includes desk reviews by all partners aimed at analyzing the target contexts and first approachment to stakeholders in the territories. Preliminary diagnosis have been made by every partner and since the COVID-19 health crisis is undoubtedly having an important impact on the normal development of the project. A rethought of the project’s work plan occurred for the next months, and a series of bilateral virtual meetings for Slow Food Foundation and the project’s partners. AUB has already identified the territories of intervention of the project: West Bekaa and Shouf, Their motivations for this choice are in line with the philosophy and values that the project wants to promote. It highlights the history and origins of food products and traditional dishes and focus on the cultural and emotional ties that people hold to the West Bekaa and Shouf areas.
Ardi Ardak Updates | June 2020
ESDU in collaboration with its partners Food Heritage Foundations, Lebanese League for Women in Business and Zico House under Ardi Ardak initiative and in collaboration with other national campaigns and the contribution of the generous donors distributed 675 Food Parcels to families in need, and 87,000 seedlings and 12,000 seeds bags to small scale farmers in various villages and cities all over Lebanon since the beginning of the crisis in March 2020. ESDU has been always committed to support the livelihood of the local communities, and to aid both the beneficiaries and the suppliers; the food items were procured from various suppliers including over 20 cooperatives, community kitchens and small scale local producers benefiting at least 35 vulnerable local families. The Food parcels & seedlings truck visited many villages and cities in Lebanon, such as West Bekaa, Baalbeck, Arsal, Beirut, Tripoli, Akkar and Chouf …
The seeds & seedlings distribution included different varieties such as tomato, cucumber, eggplant, okra, zucchini, spinach, parsley etc. All seeds are local and are open-pollination varieties, provided by different local suppliers/organizations such as Buzuruna Juzuruna farm in Beqaa, that preserves heirloom varieties and grows seeds following organic farming practices. Seedlings are provided by various suppliers/organizations including Cooperation Without Borders, small-scale nurseries, women-led start-ups, and nurseries led by young agricultural engineers.
Ardi Ardak activities weren't exclusive to distributions, ESDU team is working closely with the land owners to assess their lands and provide them with sustainable production plans and in-kind support when available. So far 42 assessment applications were submitted and 3 lands were assessed and supported, the numbers are expected to rise in the near future. Educational videos are being prepared to provide the technical support to new farmers and a hotline was initiated to answer all agriculture related questions and inquiries.
ESDU and Ardi Ardak Initiative also has teamed up with Nadine Labaki and several other sustainable Agricultural initiatives to launch the Zarriet Albi campaign. The national campaign was announced by a song and video clip directed by Nadine Labaki and starred by various Lebanese celebrities calling citizens to grow seeds and vegetables in their homes or their lands. As well Ardi Ardak partnered in other campaigns such as Samidoun campaign for Aljadeed TV and Mission 470 project launched Ali Ghandour Center for Leadership Diversity and Civic Engagement at the International College.
All of this has happened thanks to the contribution of the generous donors and to the hard work of the Ardi Ardak team members either from home or in the field.
Your contribution will save lives! Please donate, click here.
CLIMAT wins the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation 2020 in Abu Dhabi | April 2020
At its twelfth session, the Khalifa International Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation Award in Abu Dhabi announced five winners out of 141 candidates representing 28 countries around the world who received 3.5 Million Dirham. The Climate Smart Livelihoods Initiative and Market Access Tailoring “CLIMAT" project won. CLIMAT is a one-year Food For Training project implemented during 2019 in Northeast Baalbeck and West Bekaa Lebanon, funded by the German Cooperation through the World Food Program. It was managed by the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit ESDU at the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the American University of Beirut AUB in partnership with Cooperation without Borders CWB. CLIMAT aimed to sustainably improve the skills, capacities and livelihood opportunities of vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian refugees in the targeted regions through enhancing the capabilities of women, youth and farmers on sustainable agricultural practices and food processing, in addition to providing the necessary tools and creating marketing links.
Home Gardening - Video | April 2020
Home gardening and urban agriculture are much needed to support the national food security in these rough times that our country is going through. These are very convenient space saving domestic solution as you can plant your vegetables and fruits on the balcony or on the roof of your building, and sustain your organic food intake all over the year. The urban agriculture has low water consumption, it helps to isolate heat in summer and it adds a beautiful warming greenery decor to your home.
This video is a collaboration between Environment and Sustainable Development Unit and Farah Social Foundation
. It will teach you how to plant, grow and take care of the cherry tomatoes, hoping that you will try to implement it at home. We are happy to receive all your questions and inquiries. Watch video.
MedSNAIL | 1st Newsletter | March 2020
Environment & Sustainable Development Unit -ESDU in collaboration with the Department of Landscape Design and Ecosystem Management -LDEM at the Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences at AUB are partnering on the execution of the MedSNAIL Project in Lebanon , a project on sustainable agro-food funded by the EU, through the ENI CBC MED Program.
We are happy to share with you the first newsletter
of MedSNAIL, We hope you enjoy it!.