2021 Asterousia Hybrid University – Phase B: onine course

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 (BRs) and other designated areas, and will run from 10 January to 6 February 2022. Following the successful Summer Universities organised jointly by MIO-ECSDE and the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (Venice Office) the 2021 University takes place once again in hybrid format, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first phase (live one) of the University was held between 19 and 24 October 2021 in Asterousia BR in Crete (Greece), with a restricted number of trainnees, so as to prepare parts of the  online course.


What will learners gain from the online course?

  • A better understanding of Biosphere Reserves as beacons of sustainability, and ideal places to apply the SDGs and the Agenda 2030, amid the pandemic.
  • A range of strategies for effective management that engages the various stakeholders, branding  and communication in BRs
  • 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 Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) with today’s challenges needs to be further strengthened, and why.
  • Access to a wealth of online resources.
  • Networking with people with similar interests and concerns.


The online course will entail multimedia forms of learning content including:

  • Following video lectures from invited international experts (UNESCO/MAB, UNESCO Venice Office, EU, UN Environment Programme, IOC,  etc.)
  • Studying existing online material (videos, toolkits, ppts), that examine cases of effective BR management within the SDGs context.
  • Video interviews & consultations with people from the recently established Asterousia BR.
  • Attending the four live 1.5 hr long sessions with the experts and the entire learner group (offered once a week).


the online course in a nutshell

When: 10 January – 06 February 2022 (four weeks)
Structure: The online course combines asynchronous (self-paced) and synchronous sessions (weekly live meetings).
Commitment: The total training time for learners is ~ 20 hours (aprox. 5 hours weekly commitment).
For whom: Post graduate students, young scientists, educators and managers of Biosphere Reserves and other designated areas from Euro-Mediterranean countries and beyond.

Certification: Learners who complete 80% of the course assignments will get a 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 of UoA
Size: aprox. 100 online learners.
Language: English
Cost: Thanks to the kind contribution of the supporters the course is offered for free to the online learners.

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. 

Find here the detailed preliminary programme of the e-course


The Asterousia Hybrid University is co-organised and supported by: MIO-ECSDE/MEdIES Secretariat, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (Venice Office), the Asterousia Bioshere Reserve, the Perfecture of Crete, the UNESCO Chair and Network on Sustainable Development Management and Education in the Mediterranean, the Greek National Committee for MAB/UNESCO, with the contribution of the LIFE Programme of the European Union and of the Green Fund of Greece.