Sustainable Food Systems: A Mediterranean Perspective

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Alessio Cavicchi, Sonia Massari, Stefano Pascucci, Amr Helal, A. F. Abou Hadid, Eissa Ali Abdelaziz, Riccardo Valentini, Gabriele Riccardi, Maite Aldaya, Sarra Arboui, Phoebe Kounduri, Angelo Riccaboni, SDGAcademyX

How do we produce more, better quality, and safer food while simultaneously achieving social and environmental goals?

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.

This course is for:
  • Students at the undergraduate or graduate level interested in the main challenges facing the Mediterranean region
  • Current and future practitioners in the agriculture, food, and beverage sectors who wish to gain useful insights about current and future trends and business opportunities
  • Policymakers and regional stakeholders who want to deepen their knowledge of agricultural policy, investment, and decisionmaking in the region and globally
Looking for a live course? Check back for more information about the next run of the SDG Academy's "Feeding a Hungry Planet: Agriculture, Nutrition and Sustainability" course, which covers food systems from a global perspective.

What will you learn

  • About food value chains and the interlinkages from production to consumption
  • About the new sustainable food professional and entrepreneurial opportunities
  • Explore food systems in countries across the Mediterranean

Dates:
  • 2 September 2019
Course properties:
  • Free:
  • Paid:
  • Certificate:
  • MOOC:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Email-course:
  • Language: English Gb

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