On May 23, 2019, the Agricultural University of Athens organised and hosted the “Climate Change in Agriculture” info day which drew its name from the homonymous ERASMUS+ project name.
During this academic info day, students, teachers and stakeholders were presented with the methodology aspects to assess the consequences of Climate Change, case studies demonstrating the role of smart agriculture and calculated choices into tackling the adverse consequences into crops production and examples of how livestock production is adversely influenced by the rise of the planet’s temperature. Moreover, the role of education within the frames of the CLICHA project was presented, but also Prof. Dr. Falia Oikonomou had the change to share her experience as part of a different educational project, entitled “New Agriculture for New Generation”. Finally, at the discussion part of the event, the audience had the opportunity to attend a live warm debate between the speakers and members of the academia who remain unconvinced that Climate Change exists and influences the environment. A series of facts and figures were exchanged by the debating sides leaving the final conclusions to be drawn by the participants.
On Tuesday March 12, 2019 ISA-CM and the University of Sousse organized with great success a business forum on the subject of “Livestock Production in Arid and Semi-arid Regions Facing Climate Change”. Nine accomplished scientists participated as speakers and had the chance to develop topics which concern the business world in Tunisia. During the forum scientists, academics, students and professionals had the chance to interact and exchange opinions and point of views. Members of the CLICHA consortium from Greece, Italy and Latvia were present in the event either as speaker or as participants. More than 150 people registered to the event.
Climate change is one of the «hottest» topics nowadays, as all prediction models agree that its impact will be significant in agriculture in general, and livestock farming in particular. The Mediterranean region is particularly vulnerable to climate change as it is in a transition zone between the dry climate of North Africa and the temperate and rainy climate of Central Europe. Indeed, the Mediterranean region has been experiencing major climate change in the past and has been identified as one of the most important Hot-Spots for future climate change predictions.
The “CLICHA” project (Climate Change in Agriculture-Project No. 586273-EPP-1-2017-1-EN-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP), which is co-funded by the European Union’s ERASMUS+ program, is dealing with this exact issue. The wider goal of the project is to create specialized scientists who, through their training, will contribute to the adoption of more sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural and livestock practices. These scientists could be the transforming factor for the entire society towards a more sustainable model of production and consumption.
In particular, the project aims at: (a) developing specialized educational material on climate change and its implications for agriculture and livestock farming, as well as measures that could be implemented locally; (b) modernizing university courses, based on the educational material created in the previous goal, through the evaluation of the existing courses and the creation of proper lectures; (c) the adaptation of courses to the particular circumstances of the southern Mediterranean in general, and more accurately to the ones of Tunisia; (d) the use of modern technologies for the provision of courses by the creation of specific tools (presentations, video, website, e-learning platform, NCAs), and (e) strengthening the internationalization of HEIs and their capacity to cooperate effectively in research, as well as in scientific and technological innovation.
The project “CLICHA: Climate Change in Agriculture” is being implemented in Tunisia and coordinated by the Department of Animal Science of the Agricultural University of Athens (Prof. Iosif Bizelis). On behalf of the European Union, the University of Turin (Italy), the Agricultural University of Latvia, NCSR Demokritos (Greece) and NGO CREATIVE THINKING DEVELOPMENT (Greece) participate as partners. From Tunisia, three Higher Education Institutions (Jendouba University, Cartagena University and Sousse University), the National Institute of Crop Production and the Climate Change Adaptation Center participate in the project. In this project ELGO-DIMITRA is represented by the researcher of the Research Institute of Animal Science Dr. George Symeon, as a member of the scientific team.
“Zootechnia” is the only specialized event in Greece and the Balkans, regarding livestock and poultry and it was held for the 11th time from 31 January to 3 February at the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre. All major businesses were present, and they presented the latest developments in the sector; everything from the most important food producing animals to machinery, equipment, services and research.
The exhibition marks developments in a very dynamic primary production field and establishes the new standards of a sector which, in early 2019, will go through a period of improvement-plan approval, which will lead to investment and action implementation acceleration in the livestock-poultry sector. “Zootechnia 2019” continued the upward trajectory recorded by the corresponding event of 2017, which proved to be the best ever, breaking records in visitor and exhibitor numbers.
The CLICHA project was present in this event at the pavilion of the Agricultural University of Athens (AUA). The pavilion was staffed by the Department of International and Public Relations of the AUA as well as volunteer students and staff who distributed printed information material and informed the visitors. During the exhibition, the pavilion of the University was visited by the Deputy Minister of the Hellenic Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. V. Kokkalis, the Region Directors of Epirus and Thessaly, Mr. A. Kakrimanis and K. Agorastos, representatives of organizations, journalists of the agricultural press, many professionals, producers and visitors interested in learning about the actions that are implemented the AUA, including the CLICHA project.