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Sustainable Food Systems: a Mediterranean Perspective

SDG Academy and Università di Siena

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Overview

The Mediterranean region is one of the most biodiverse in the world, home to a complex and intricate patchwork of cultures, climates, and cuisines. Food systems in the region -- represented worldwide by the "Mediterranean diet" -- are equally complex, demanding analysis across the political, social, cultural, economic and nutritional spectrums from landscape to table.

The ability of Mediterranean agriculture to sustain its peoples -- and the planet -- is now threatened by several issues:

  • Unsustainable agriculture production and limited agricultural diversification;
  • Overexploitation of natural resources, including loss of soil fertility and agricultural biodiversity;
  • Water scarcity and poor water management;
  • Limited agricultural diversification;
  • Increasingly poor nutritional value of food products and diets;
  • Food loss and waste; and
  • Decline in food culture and food sovereignty, highlighting the struggle between modernity and tradition.

This course discusses the challenges and opportunities of the agricultural sector in the Mediterranean basin. It summarizes global-to-local challenges related to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG); outlines the history and culture of agriculture and its main characteristics with a focus on the "Mediterranean diet"; explains agricultural data with a focus on rural development models and value creation; explores EU policy frameworks and international agreements related to food and agriculture in the Mediterranean; and highlights emerging opportunities linked to innovation and sustainability in the sector.

 

Syllabus

Module 1. The Mediterranean challenges around food and agriculture

1.1 Introduction to this MOOC (Prof. Alessio Cavicchi)

1.2 Mediterranean challenges and innovation in food systems (Prof. Angelo Riccaboni)

1.3 Theoretical framework, objectives and course outline (Prof. Alessio Cavicchi)

1.4 Contextualizing the SDGs for the Mediterranean region: what do the SDGs mean for the countries of the Mediterranean? (Prof. Phoebe Kounduri)

 

Module 2. History of agriculture in Mediterranean basin and Mediterranean Diet (Prof. Ayman Farid Abou-Hadid)

2.1 The origin of agriculture

2.2 Civilisations

2.3 Middles ages and early modern

2.4 Modern agriculture

2.5 Agriculture and habits of local communities: the origin of the “Mediterranean diet”

 

Module 3. Poverty alleviation, economic and social rural development

3.1 Economics of food systems

3.2 Rural development

3.3 Markets and supply chains

3.4 International trade

3.5 Development enhancing investments

3.6 Food governance

 

Module 4: Fisheries and Aquaculture

4.1 Our Ocean: A Finite Resource

4.2 Dance of the plankton

4.3 Marine Food Chains

4.4 Fisheries Economics and Management

4.5 Aquaculture and Mariculture

4.6 Sustainable Management of Fisheries

4.7 Summing it up

 

Module 5. How to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the Mediterranean – The way forward I. Water resources and Fisheries Management (Prof. Maite Aldaya)

5.1 Challenges

5.2 Theoretical chapter

5.3 Successful case studies in Mediterranean

 

Module 6. How to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the Mediterranean – The way forward II. Sustainable farming systems under environmental and climatic constraints

6.1 Challenges (Prof. Riccardo Valentini)

6.1b Challenges at Mediterranean level

6.2 Theoretical chapter (Arbaoui Sarra)

6.3 Successful case studies in Mediterranean (Arbaoui Sarra

 

Module 7. How to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the Mediterranean – The way forward III. Food value chain for regional and local development

7.1 Challenges of the Mediterranean food value chains (Prof. Angelo Riccaboni)

7.2 Theoretical chapter (Prof. Stefano Pascucci)

7.3 Successful case studies in Mediterranean (Prof Stefano Pascucci)

 

Module 8. How to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the Mediterranean – The way forward IV. Reducing food waste and enhancing by-product innovations

8.1 Challenges (Prof Ali Abdelaziz)

8.2 Theoretical chapter (Prof Ali Abdelaziz)

8.3 Case studies in Egypt (Prof. Amr Helal)

 

Module 9. How to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the Mediterranean – The way forward V. Nutrition and Education

9.1 Challenges (prof. Gabriele Riccardi)

9.2 Theoretical chapter (prof. Gabriele Riccardi)

9.3 Successful Case studies in North Africa and Middle East (Prof. Reema Tayyem)

 

Module 10. New professional profiles in a Mediterranean context (Dr. Sonia Massari)

10.1 Professional needs to face sustainability issues

10.2 Youth & food: new entrepreneurs in the Med food systems

10.3 Professional profiles in the agrifood sector

10.4 Professional profiles in the “sustainable tourism” sector: food as destination branding driver

10.5 The role of Higher Education Institutions: international cooperation, exchange and mobility

10.6 A job for the future: the “innovation broker”

 

Taught by

Jeffrey Sachs, Dr. Alessio Cavicchi, Dr. Sonia Massari, Stefano Pascucci, Dr. Amr Helal, A. F. Abou Hadid, Reema Tayyem, Eissa Ai Abdelaziz, Riccardo Valentini, Gabriele Riccardi, Maite Aldaya, Arbaoui Sarra, Phoebe Kounduri and Angelo Riccaboni

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Anonymous
5.0 a month ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Excellent course, very high quality and completely free certificate. It is based on Mediterranean examples but the ideas and theory can be applied to anywhere.
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