With the aim to formally introduce ENVIPRO_Med project team present in Lebanon and reset project timelines due to delays caused by COVID-19 lockdowns, a project meeting was held on Dec. 8th 2020 at the Faculty of Science at Debbieh Campus. “International Post Graduate Studies in Environmental Management and Sustainability for Mediterranean Countries” (ENVIPRO-Med) Project is designed to develop a collaborative postgraduate master's program between the Faculty of Science at BAU and the Master “Ingénierie en Écologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité” (IEGB) of Montpellier University, France in partnership with the Environmental Observatory O-Life, and ECO-MED, France. ENVIPRO_Med aims at strengthening environmental education and building capacities of Lebanon and the region to address the severity and complexity of current environmental challenges. The Kick- off meeting was attended by Dr. Carla Khater, Coordinator, Environmental Observatory (O-Life) & Associate Researcher at the center for remote sensing, CNRS-L; Dr. Laurent Drapeau, Coordinator at the National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) & O-Life GDRI-Sud & Associate Researcher, Centre d'Etudes Spatiales de la Biosphère (CESBIO), CNRS-F; Dr. Johnny Fenianos, ECOMED for Environmental Consultants, France; members of Biological Sciences Department, BAU (Dr. Ghada Khawaja, Assistant Dean; Dr. Mahmoud Khalil, Chair; and Dr. Jamila Borjac) and Dr. Safa Baydoun, Director, Research Center of Environment and Development, BAU. Online participants were Kathryn Jeffery, Research Fellow, University of Stirling, UK and Dr. Rania Amer, Professor of Environmental Biotechnology, Department of Environmental Biotechnology, GEBRI, City of Scientific Research and Technology Applications (SRTA-City), Egypt.
The meeting started with welcoming words by Pr. Ramadan Awad, Faculty’s Dean and Dr. Ghada Khawaja acknowledging the promising potential of ENVIPRO-Med and partnership with Montpellier University, O-LIFE, ECO-MED and the valuable financial support of the Base-building in the South Program of IRD. Dean Ramadan highlighted the interests and efforts of the Faculty of Science to develop professional MS degree programs that meet current Job market needs of Lebanon. This was followed by presenting the background, logical framework and phases of ENVIPRO-Med by Dr. Baydoun, and progress made by Dr. Khater and a roundtable discussion was then held thoroughly addressing all points of implementation and timeline. Meeting was ended with a plan of upcoming step.