LDEM is proud to announce that Dr. Salma Talhouk and Dr. Rami Zurayk in collaboration with Dr. Wassim El Hajj from the department of computer science were recently awarded an Erasmus grant under the AUB nature conservation center. The project, entitled Capacity Building for Education and Applied Research on Mediterranean UNESCO's Biosphere Reserves (Edu-BioMed), is funded for 107,000 EUR by the European Commission.
The project partnership includes colleagues from other organizations and higher education institutions in Spain, Italy, France, Morocco, and Lebanon. The project partnership is led by the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain and includes Université d'Aix Marseille, France; American University of Beirut, Lebanon; Université Saint-Joseph, Lebanon; Université Cadi Ayyad, Morocco; Université Mohammed V de Rabat, Morocco; Man and the Biosphere (MAB), France; Association for the Protection of Jabal Moussa, Lebanon; UNIMED – Unione delle Università del Mediterraneo, Italy.
Through this project, the partners will seek to develop a strategy to enhance the contribution of universities to the conservation of Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves.
The project will have a strong impact on many levels. It will strengthen relations between Higher Education Institutions and Biosphere Reserves (BR) by rendering academic activity more effective in tackling territorial challenges and needs. Students involved in the project will enrich their academic background, competencies, knowledge, skills, and intercultural awareness. They will gain experience in applied interdisciplinary research, training, mobility schemes, and scientific production. The local communities living within biosphere reserves will engage as co-producers of knowledge, which will enhance their sense of belonging to the place, their interest in higher education activities, and their willingness to contribute to the sustainable development of the territory.
The partners will hold their second meeting this spring in Jabal Mousa biosphere reserve to discuss progress and way forward.