2021-2022 Asterousia Hybrid University

Applications period has ended.


If you are a post graduate student, young scientist, member of a MAB Youth Group, educator or manager working on Biosphere Reserves and other designated areas, then, this online course is for you!

The course is the virtual part of the 2021 Asterousia Hybrid University on Management of Biosphere Reserves and other designated areas , and will run from 10 January to 6 February 2022. 

Following the successful Summer Universities organized jointly by MIO-ECSDE and the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe  the 2021 University takes place once again in a hybrid format due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first phase of the University (live one) was held on 19-24 October 2021 in Asterousia Biosphere Reserve in Crete (Greece) with a restricted number of trainees so as to prepare several parts of this online course.  


The online course in a nutshell : 

  • Duration: Four weeks, starting from 10 January to 6 February 2022. 
  • Format: It combines asynchronous (self-paced) and synchronous sessions (weekly live meetings).
  • Commitment: The total training time for learners is approx. 20 hours (~5 hours/week).
  • Participants: MAB Youth Group members, Post-Graduate Students, Young Scientists, Educators and Managers of Biosphere Reserves and other designated areas, with a priority to be given to applicants from European and Mediterranean countries.
  • Class size: Aprox. 100 online learners.  
  • Language: English.
  • Certification: Learners who succesfully complete 80% of the course assignments will get the course's certificate co-signed by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe and the UNESCO Chair & Network on Sustainable Development Management and Education in the Mediterranean.
  • Cost: Thanks to the kind contribution of the organizers this course will be free of charge for all participants!


Learning goals - What will learners gain from this online course? 

  • A better understanding of Biosphere Reserves as beacons of sustainability and ideal places to apply the SDGs and the Agenda 2030, amid a pandemic.
  • A range of strategies and methods for effective participatory management, branding and communication of BRs and  other designated areas.
  • An increased understanding on prevention, monitoring and mitigation actions for pollution in coastal and marine BRs, with emphasis on plastics and single-use plastics (SUPs).
  • Access to examples of successful preparation and nomination to become a BR.
  • Access to examples and initiatives for a greater role of youth in management.
  • A better understanding of why and how Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) with today’s challenges, needs to be further strengthened.
  • Access to a wealth of online resources.
  • Networking with people with similar interests and concerns.


The 2021 Hybrid University key topics: 

  • Sustainable Development and Management in Biosphere Reserves; Global and regional policies.
  • Success factors in applying for a BR; Opportunities and challenges.
  • Cultural and intangible heritage assets within management plans.
  • BR branding, sustainable local products, from production to sustainable packaging.
  • Marine Litter / Marine Plastic pollution monitoring and assessment.
  • Single Use Plastic (SUPs): prevention and mitigation actions/ the role of key stakeholders (e.g. education community, tourism business, local authorities).
  • Marine pollution and biodiversity in the Mediterranean.
  • The Water Cycle and the Water – Energy – Food – Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus.
  • Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and ocean literacy.
  • Examples of youth-led initiatives in BRs' management.


Learning content: 

  • Video lectures from invited international experts (UNESCO/MAB, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, EU, IOC, etc.)
  • Online resources (toolkits, ppts, videos, etc.) that examine cases of effective BR management, Youth role, ESD case-studies, etc. 
  • Video interviews & consultations with people from the recently established Asterousia BR.
  • Four live 1.5 hr long sessions with the experts and the entire learner group (offered once a week via zoom). 

Course outline:

The timetable of the course is presented below. Every week we focus on a “cluster of topics” with a team of experts. Learners follow the course on their own pace (asynchronously) and have the chance to interact with the experts in a live (synchronous) session. 

The "meet the expert" sessions will be held via Zoom, every Thursday, 15.00-16.30  Athens time (GMT + 2) , and soon after, will be uploaded on YouTube, to be available to those who missed them. 



Secretariat :

Tel. 0030 2103247490
Email: info@medies.net
W: www.medies.net



Monday, January 10, 2022 12:00 AM
Sunday, February 6, 2022