Knowledge for better food systems

New MOOC: Sustainable food systems: a Mediterranean perspective

A new online course developed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network deals with environmental and climate-related challenges in the Mediterranean and shows how sustainable food systems are being used. The course is aimed at students, current and future practitioners in the agricultural, food and beverage sectors, and policymakers and regional stakeholders.

The aim of this course is to provide an overview of the challenges and opportunities of the agricultural sector in the Mediterranean basin, by:

  • Outlining the history of agriculture and its main characteristics in these countries with a focus on “Mediterranean diet” as immaterial cultural heritage,
  • Providing a summary of global challenges and issues towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals with a specific focus on the Mediterranean area,
  • Sharing the main statistics and data source about Mediterranean agriculture in the 21st century with a focus on different rural development models, the cross-over effects with other economic sector, the main drivers of international trade,
  • Exploring the EU policy frameworks addressed to this area
  • Outlining professional needs to face sustainability issues and new job opportunities

For more details, see here, and to enrol in the free course, see here. See also the Foodsource resource Impacts of climatic and environmental change on food systems.

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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