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Workshop on green skills in the Mediterranean: Education and research for sustainable food systems

Zaragoza, Spain, 1 & 2 February 2024 – the Union for the Mediterranean is co-organising with CIHEAM Zaragoza a workshop on integrating green skills into teaching and learning linked to agriculture and sustainable food systems in support of food security. The European Training Foundation (ETF) and Paeradigms are providing technical assistance and the workshop is supported by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) and the Slovenia Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

Education plays a pivotal role in fostering sustainable thinking and moving toward green transformation and a "just transition". Green transformation requires a holistic approach, including revamping higher education, vocational, and continuous professional development through policies, institutional strategies, curriculum development, research, innovation, and green campus initiatives.

Thus, the workshop will focus on

  • Technical green skills linked to sustainable food systems, from two perspectives: a technical perspective through food production and agriculture, and a policy-level perspective looking at national frameworks and sustainability. This integration is essential to ensure that these institutions can effectively contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and enhance the employability of their graduates.

  • Transversal skills that change mindsets and address root causes of inequality that sustain climate vulnerability. Effective integration necessitates a robust policy environment, a culture of dialogue, and the political will of both state and non-state actors to disrupt unsustainable systems.

Date and Location

1 & 2 February 2024 at CIHEAM Zargagoza, Spain

Mode of delivery

In person, English language

Participant profile

Although the workshop is focused on higher educaton and research, it shall encompass multi-sector participation, including industry, policymakers and civil society institutions. This shall facilitate the development of comprehensive solutions, fostering innovation and building partnerships for systemic sustainable development. 

  • Academia (primary focus): Directors/Heads of teaching or curriculum committees from schools/faculties of agricultural, Heads of special services linked to teaching, e.g. career centres, diversity, equity and inclusion function, quality assurance.

  • Private sector and NGOs/nonprofits from the fields of sustainable agriculture, food processing and distribution, supply chain companies, agtech startups.

  • Policymakers both in their function as a policymaker and an employer.

  • Others, e.g project leads from development cooperation in the field of food security.


Participants will receive a certificate of participation.

Application and registration

The workshop is limited to 25 participants and follows a rolling admission policy.
Participants are asked to apply through the registration form below and send their CV by email to Registrations will close on 20 December 2023 at midnight (CET). Applicants will be informed by 22 December 2023.

Link to registration form

The registrations are closed


Thanks to the support of GIZ, workshop participation is free. The Union for the Mediterranean is willing to cover travel and accommodation to a limited number of participants from non-EU UfM Member states, according to UfM rules on eligibility. 

Workshop preparation

Participants are tasked with pre-reading and other activities to complete prior to the first session. This is a variant of the “flipped classroom” approach, which allows participants to use workshop time to discuss and digest the material already studied in advance. The workshop is interactive and relies on exchange between participants to enrich the experience and instil stronger retention of concepts and practices. In the afternoon of the first day, participants will work in groups to prepare a case to present on day two. The winning team will announced at the end of the workshop.

For questions, please contact us: 


About the organisers

Union for the Mediterranean

Launched in 2008, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an intergovernmental Euro-Mediterranean organisation that brings together the 27 countries of the EU and 15 countries of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean. The UfM provides a forum to enhance regional cooperation, dialogue and the implementation of concrete projects and initiatives with tangible impact on its citizens, with an emphasis on young people and women as vectors of peace and stability. As regional challenges call for regional solutions, UfM activities aim to address the main strategic objectives of the region – regional integration, development and stability – by concentrating efforts on two main pillars of action: fostering human development and promoting regional sustainable development. By joining forces with the regional and international community, and particularly with the UN System, the UfM is determined to address global challenges and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Euro-Mediterranean region through tangible and concrete activities and initiatives.

European Training Foundation

The European Training Foundation is the EU's agency supporting countries surrounding the European Union to reform their education, training and labour market systems. Its unique role is based on the expertise of our staff, and experience gained over nearly 30 years of working hand-in-hand with government, business, and social partners in countries in and around the EU's neighbouring regions. Its aim is to support each country’s own process for education, training, and labour market reform, with a range of evidence-based methodologies. ETF has a staff of 130, led by Director Pilvi Torsti, and a budget of approximately EUR 20 million. The organisaton is basedin Turin, Italy, and has beem operational in 1994.

CIHEAM Zaragoza

The Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (CIHEAM Zaragoza) is one of the four Institutes -the Spanish one- of the International Centre for Advanced Agronomic Mediterranean Studies (CIHEAM), together with Bari in Italy, Montpellier in France and Chania in Greece. CIHEAM Zaragoza was founded in 1969, offering quality and excellence in training and promoting international cooperation through research project management based on CIHEAM Zaragoza’s five fields of expertise: 'Environment and Natural Resources', 'Fisheries and Aquaculture', 'Animal Production and Welfare', 'Plant Production, Health and Breeding' and 'Marketing and Agrifood Systems'. CIHEAM Zaragoza has become consolidated as a point of reference for specialized international training in the agro-food sector. It is located on the Campus of Aula Dei, one of the largest and prestigious agricultural science complexes in Spain, strengthening synergies between the scientific community, firms and students. Training is a core activity at CIHEAM Zaragoza and our approach is international and multidisciplinary. CIHEAM Zaragoza offers two lines of training: Master programmes and advanced courses for professionals. CIHEAM Zaragoza’s training activities have great international repercussion, and each year more than 450 university graduates attend our programmes delivered by over 250 guest lecturers from approximately 80 countries. This is an enriching multicultural experience and a unique opportunity to build international professional and collaborational networks. Currently there is a portfolio of 8 MSc programmes (4 each year) and between 8 and 10 short courses are organized every year on cutting-edge scientific and technical issues targeted to professionals. We are a global and committed team of professionals with solid experience in postgraduate training, scientific research and international cooperation in matters related to CIHEAM Zaragoza's areas of expertise.


Paeradigms is social enterprise and NGO founded in 2019 by a diverse group of development experts from academia and practice. Its mission is to support development actors and policymakers, higher education, and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions in their quest for capacity development and excellence across teaching, research, and contribution to society (the so-called third mission) and improve access to the labour market. The organisation has its own projects but also provides technical support in developing projects/programs, MEAL (Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning), private-public partnerships, employability, curriculum development/review, innovation and entrepreneurship, diversity, and inclusion, as well as outreach and stakeholder engagement. The focus lies on projects that have the potential to lead to lasting transformational outcomes, social change, and sustainable economic impact. Paeradigms emphasises a transdisciplinary approach with participation, consensus, and ownership. It has built a global network of researchers involved in sustainable economic development and sharpened its core expertise by carrying out complex projects across diverse geographies and disciplines.

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