Nicosia Conference 2009 ERACON


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Nicosia Conference 2009 ERACON

  1. 1. Universities, enterprises and local communities working together for Sustainable Development of Regions. A Case-study from Romania . Dan Grigorescu Prof. dr. University of Bucharest Faculty of Geology, Bd. N. Balcescu 1, 01041 Bucharest, Romania [email_address] ERACON 2009, Nicosia
  2. 2. <ul><li>Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for future generations to come ( Wikipedia). </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable development is a concept of a great complexity which addresses equally to economic, social and environmental issues, the solutions requiring a closely integrated approach among these three domains. </li></ul>ERACON 2009, Nicosia
  3. 3. <ul><li>Complexity of Sustainable development demands a strong Driving Force represented by a multi-actor consortium, with knowledgeable and skilled members, well motivated through the creativity and innovation of activities and the resulted benefits . </li></ul><ul><li>Universities are particularly well placed to represent such Driving Force </li></ul>ERACON 2009, Nicosia
  4. 4. <ul><li>“ Universities, with their triple roles as providers of the highest levels of education, advanced research and path-breaking innovation, are at the heart of Europe's knowledge triangle. They have the potential to be crucial drivers of Europe's ambition to be the world's leading knowledge-based economy and society.” ( A new partnership for the modernization of universities: the EU Forum for University Business Dialogue, March 2009) </li></ul>ERACON 2009, Nicosia
  5. 5. <ul><li>EU Commission regards the Sustainable development of regions as the base for building the future Europe of Regions . </li></ul><ul><li>This Policy is also reflected in the evolution of the EU Programs for Higher Education starting with TEMPUS II (“Institution building phase”) ,continuing with Erasmus Thematic Networks – in which since 2004 University-Enterprise cooperation become a specific objective and since 2007 the Lifelong Learning Program includes under ERASMUS-Multilateral Project “Cooperation between Universities and Enterprises “ as a distinct Action . </li></ul>ERACON 2009, Nicosia
  6. 6. <ul><li>Universities are directly interested in developing close relations with the Realities (Economic, Social, Environmental and Cultural) around them. These relations allow universities to better respond to their mission of creating well trained specialists, knowledgeable and skilled in tackling concrete issues. </li></ul><ul><li>A Region represents for universities a large field of operation where cross-disciplinary approaches can be developed not for the sick of experiments but for developing appropriate solutions for the communities’ welfare. </li></ul>ERACON 2009, Nicosia
  7. 7. Mutual benefits <ul><li>For the Regions: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Productive outcomes of the researches carried out by universities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Regional economic growth </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increase the region visibility and linking it to the World </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Development of human capital </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Driving social change </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure Environmental protection & Conservancy. </li></ul></ul></ul>ERACON 2009, Nicosia
  8. 8. Mutual benefits <ul><li>For universities : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Closer link between Theoretic and Practical works (better trained graduates for the career) , </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Closer link between Education and Research </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increase capacity of intervening in solving concrete economic and social problems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Development of Cross-disciplinary approaches </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New professions: manager of Sustainable development </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Enhance Quality and Attractiveness of European Higher Education. </li></ul></ul></ul>ERACON 2009, Nicosia
  9. 9. <ul><li>Prerequisites for a productive intervention of universities in the Development of Regions </li></ul><ul><li>Detailed knowledge on the Region: Nature, Culture, Social& Economical aspects, Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Identification of the fields in which universities can intervene with most efficiency and best results </li></ul><ul><li>Establishment of the inter-university partnership and with the local stakeholders , with clear distribution of tasks among the partners </li></ul><ul><li>Finding the appropriate Organizational Frame of the project and identification of source(s) for financing </li></ul><ul><li>Elaboration of the project management plan with clear objectives and activities, timing and expected outputs. </li></ul>ERACON 2009, Nicosia
  10. 10. <ul><li>A Case–Study : </li></ul><ul><li>“ Hateg Country” Region from Southern Transylvania, Romania. </li></ul>ERACON 2009, Nicosia
  11. 11. <ul><li>GEOPARK as an appropriate frame for developing Sustainable development . </li></ul><ul><li>What is a GEOPARK ? </li></ul><ul><li>A Geopark is a territory with well-defined limits and comprises a number of geological heritage sites of special scientific importance, rarity or beauty </li></ul><ul><li>It may not be solely of geological significance but also of archaeological, ecological, historical or cultural value. </li></ul><ul><li>The concept was launched by UNESCO in 1998 with the double aim: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to safeguard the environment and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To enhance the socio-economic development of regions. </li></ul></ul>ERACON 2009, Nicosia
  12. 12. <ul><li>Main Moments in the Creation of the Hateg Country Dinosaur Geopark </li></ul><ul><li>1998 –UNESCO launched the concept and conditions for becoming a Geopark </li></ul><ul><li>2000 – Launching of the Project “Hateg Country Dinosaurs Geopark” financed through national research funds </li></ul><ul><li>2001 – Creation of the Association Hateg Country Dinosaurs Geopark </li></ul><ul><li>2004, November – National Accreditation through Governmental Decision </li></ul><ul><li>2005, March – Admission in the European Geoparks Network . </li></ul>ERACON 2009, Nicosia
  13. 13. <ul><li>Partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Inter-University consortium </li></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Bucharest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Petrosani </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Architecture from Bucharest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Agriculture from Timisoara </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University “Babes-Bolyai” from Cluj </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inter-Communal Association for sustaining the Geopark </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mayors of all the 11 localities from the Geopark area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Representatives of the County Council Hunedoara </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Representatives of Universities from Bucharest and Petrosani </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Enterprises </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SC Hidroconstructia Raul mare </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SC Electrica,Hatef </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nabis SRL, Hateg </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Local Communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Professors, teachers, priests, farmers. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Economic situation of the Hateg Country region </li></ul><ul><li>The region is strongly affected by economic recession due to the closing of coal mines and the reduction of metallurgic enterprises - the traditional sources of employment in the region .Unemployment reached 12% in 1995. </li></ul><ul><li>Needs analysis undertaken by the partner universities found that appropriate solutions for reducing the effects of the economic recession are: </li></ul><ul><li>Development of a sustainable agriculture in the region </li></ul><ul><li>Development of cultural and scientific tourism </li></ul><ul><li>Reinforce the cultural/folkloric regional traditions </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance ecological education, in primary and secondary schools from the region </li></ul><ul><li>Offer the possibility of professional reconversion through ODL organized by the partner universities. </li></ul>ERACON 2009, Nicosia
  15. 15. <ul><li>Weak points encountered through the Needs analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of knowledge and skills of the villagers for promoting sustainable agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>Insufficiency of logistics and facilities for tourism </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of experience of the villagers for offering services for the tourists </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of Ecological Culture and of skills to intervene in prevention the deterioration of the environment </li></ul><ul><li>Strong decline of the traditional folkloric customs & habits and of the handicrafts. </li></ul>ERACON 2009, Nicosia
  16. 16. <ul><li>Achievements </li></ul><ul><li>For Community : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Cohesion :Bringing together a large community with different experiences but with the same main aim of contributing to the sustainable development of the Hateg Country </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organization of touristic routes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improvement of the infrastructure for tourism (pensions, services offered) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ecological education in the schools from the region </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Courses in Agriculture and Rural development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creation of new jobs, related to the Administration and management of the Geoparc. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Training courses for teaching staff 1 Nature conservation 2 How to write and manage an educational project 3 Educational methods, tools and training packages for environmental education
  18. 18. Educational modules Implementation of the EU acquis in Nature conservation
  19. 19. <ul><li>Achievements </li></ul><ul><li>For Universities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Summer schools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A large field for developing practical activities in continuation to the class activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of research projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Impact on the university curricula in the fields of Ecology, Architecture (Vernacular Architecture, Tourism) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of cross-disciplinary activities between different university specializations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A concrete satisfaction of contributing through concrete activities to the Sustainable development of a region. </li></ul></ul>ERACON 2009, Nicosia
  20. 20. Expected impact of the project <ul><li>Nature conservation </li></ul><ul><li>Improvement of the geological sites organization and management in order to ensure their protection and valorization through tourism and education </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion of interdisciplinarity in geological researches and practical methods of geoconservation </li></ul><ul><li>Raise the awareness on the role that Geodiversity and Biodiversity ,tackled together in an integrated system of conservation and valorization ,can play in sustainable development of a region. </li></ul><ul><li>Economy </li></ul><ul><li>Funds raising from tourism (pensions and services) and from connected activities (handicrafts, microproduction of merchantable objects related to the Geopark) </li></ul><ul><li>Engender new work positions, especially in connection with site protection and development of the tourism in the region </li></ul><ul><li>Social and cultural </li></ul><ul><li>Revitalization of the ethnologic and cultural identity of the Hateg Country </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure the possibility of professional training / reconversion through courses offered by the university consortium involved in the project </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthening the social cohesion among local communities, which are linked by a common interest in raising the socio-economic standard of the region. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Thank You for your attention!