Sustainable Food Systems: A Mediterranean Perspective

Instructor:  admin
Course Dates: Open-ended
Enrollment Dates: Enroll Anytime
Who can Enroll: Anyone
Course Language: English
Price:  FREE

About the Course

Sustainable Food Systems: A Mediterranean Perspective

Course Description

How do we produce more, better quality, and safer food while simultaneously achieving social and environmental goals? Join this course to find out. 

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. 

The materials provided will be:

  1. Course videos: Each week’s content has 3-6 video lectures.
  2. Readings: Each week's content has required readings, which will be included in the weekly quiz (see below). 
  3. Quizzes: Each week, there will be a quiz testing your comprehension of the videos and readings. These quizzes will determine your grade for the course and eligibility for a certificate (see below). 

Course Engagement

While we encourage students to use the Discussion Forum during the course,  the discussion threads will not be managed by SDG Academy staff. The forum is available on the top of the page, and we hope students will pose questions and thoughts to each other in this format! 

Grading Policy

Students will be graded on end of module quizzes. The final grade for the course will be 100% based on these quizzes. Your lowest quiz score will be automatically dropped. 

We hope you enjoy the course!

Course Structure

  • Module 1. The Mediterranean challenges around food and agriculture
  • Module 2. History of agriculture in Mediterranean basin and Mediterranean Diet
  • Module 3. Rural development for poverty alleviation
  • Module 4. Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Module 5. How to achieve the Sustainable Develpment Goals (SDGs) in the Mediterranean - The way forward I - Water resources management
  • Module 6. How to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the Mediterranean. The way forward I. Sustainable farming systems under environmental and climatic constraints
  • Module 7. How to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Mediterranean – The way forward III. Food value chain for regional and local development
  • Module 8. How to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Mediterranean – The way forward IV. Reducing food waste and enhancing by-product innovations
  • Module 9. How to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Mediterranean – The way forward V. Nutrition and Education
  • Module 10. New professional profiles in a Mediterranean context