RCE Crete - 2018

Integrating SDGs in the MSc for climate change, sustainable agriculture, and food security (CCSAFS) program
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Integrating SDGs in the MSc for climate change, sustainable agriculture, and food security (CCSAFS) program
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Crete
Contributing organization(s) : 
RCE Cairo
University of Crete
CCSAFS Consortium (RCE Crete is a partner)
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
RCE Crete
University of Crete
Rethymnon, Crete Municipality
CCSAFS Consortium
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
The MSc in CCSAFS is funded by the European Commission Erasmus + Capacity Building in Higher Education (http://www.ccsafs.uoc.gr), supporting the national policies for SDGs in implementation countries and the MENA region in general.
At what level is the policy operating?: 
CCSAFS (Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security), although it focuses on SDG2, all other SDGs, directly or indirectly, are integrating across the course modules of the MSc in CCSAFS curriculum.
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Africa and Middle East
Rethymnon Crete,Greece; Ismailia Egypt; Jerash Jordan
Address of focal point institution for project: 
University of Crete, Rertymnon, 74100, Crete, Greece
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The impetus for integrating SDGs in the MSc for Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture, and Food Security (CCSAFS) program comes from the socio-economic and environmental characteristics of the Southern Mediterranean area it is implemented. This area is highly threatened by climate change and the challenge of meeting the future needs for food security. A truly sustainable agriculture should meet both production and environmental targets. Food production itself is only part of the problem. Food security in the MENA region isn't just about exploiting scientific and technological advances to increase crop yields, it's also about addressing the associated economic, social and environmental factors to enable people to access sufficient, safe and nutritious food.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The demand for scientists with expertise in the agriculture/food sector is likely to increase in the next decade in the countries and region concerned. There are also skills shortages in areas of expertise such as plant and crop breeding, plant physiology and pest management, large animal physiology and health, soil science, and horticulture. There is also need 1) to bridge the gap between researchers, advisers and farmers; 2) to make climate change-related information more accessible and relevant to the local actors; 3) to improve the information and knowledge sharing between key stakeholders; 4) to ‘give a voice’ to groups and individuals that are often excluded; 5) to strengthen local empowerment and the ability to self-organise in response to external climatic disturbances and food insecurity.
October, 2016 to October, 2019
Climate projections for the Middle East and North African (MENA) region indicate warmer and drier conditions with increased frequency of natural disasters. Food insecurity and climate change are the two major challenges in the region. Agriculture is one of the most vulnerable economic sectors to climate change, mainly due to the limited availability of water and land resources in the two target MENA countries (Egypt and Jordan). Increasing urbanization (Egypt will be doubled by 2050) and forced migration in Jordan puts additional challenges, not only for supporting the livelihood of rural populations, but also to maintain a tolerable level of food security.
The objectives of the project is to respond to the needs identified through the development of an inter/multidisciplinary MSc programme in Climate Change, Agricultural Development and Food Security that will help promote the Sustainable Develoment Goals, especially SDG 2, by providing students with the skills and tools for developing agricultural practices, policies and measures to address the challenge that climate change poses for agriculture and food security in the two target countries and in the MENA region, in general.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Carry out capacity building for the involved staff from the partner institutions to develop an inter/multidisciplinary MSc. programme in Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security, comparable and compatible with EU equivalent programmes in cooperation with EU and PC Universities, NGOs, local agricultural/food industry, government agencies and higher education accreditation commissions. Develop a platform for blended learning supplemented by laboratories to support the MSc. programme and function as life-long learning resources and develop Centers of Excellence in CCSAFS in each partner country university.
Size of academic audience: 
The MSc in CCSAFS will have up to 50 students. The MOOCs on CCSAFS will reach more than 2000 students
Development of the MSc in CCSAFS worth of 120 ECTS (90 ECTS course work & 30 ECTS thesis) based on Suez Canal University, Egypt and Jerash University, Jordan, coordinated by the University of Crete and RCE Crete. Accreditation and implementation the MSc. programme starting October 2018. Carry out diagnostic, formative and summative assessment activities across the project design, development and implementation process.
Lessons learned: 
In terms of curriculum development suitable to the needs of sustainability, a multi-stakeholder approach focusing on participation ensures better results. A whole-of-university approach seems to be essential and universities can address SDGs by mapping what they are already doing, identifying barriers/drivers, priorities, opportunities and gaps; building internal capacity for staff involved and ownership; embedding the SDGs beyond the curricula by integrating them within university strategies, policies and plans; developing a monitoring, evaluating and communicating system.
Key messages: 
- Apply a multi-driven stakeholder that "gives voice" to those usually excluded from curriculum development.
- Select the most motivated teaching staff to be trained.
- Use a blended learning system for course curriculum delivery.
- Apply inter-disciplinary approaches to course materials drawn from a range of disciplines.
- Carry out diagnostic, formative and summative assessment activities cutting across all the phases as an integral part at beginning, during and at the end.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
This project relates to the other RCE Crete activities focusing on: a) raising people’s critical consciousness in using sustainable ways of production and consumption; b) understanding food as a basic need and human right; c) eliminate food waste.
Erasmus + Capacity Building in Higher Education Program


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon SDG2 action group.jpg (155.34 KB) SDG2 action group V. Makrakis
Image icon SDG2 workshop.jpg (1.8 MB) SDG2 workshop V. Makrakis
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level