The webpage presents the structure activities and initiatives of UNESCO Chair & Network on Sustainable Development Management and Education in the Mediterranean and the Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA or UoA).


UNESCO Chair and Network on Sustainable Development Management and Education in the Mediterranean:
Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry [and Chemical Oceanography] (LEC)


Horizon2020 CB/MEP


UNESCO Chair and Network on Sustainable Development Management and Education in the Mediterranean

UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks undertake training, research, information sharing and outreach activities in UNESCO major programme areas: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication & information. Read more here.

The UNESCO Chair and Network at the UoA is a cluster bringing together and catalyzing the synergies of a series of components, organisations and bodies under the direct leadership of the Director of the Chair Prof. Michael Scoullos (for CV see here). The flow-diagramme / structure of the UNESCO Chair and network is given in the below diagram.


The UNESCO Chair and Network at the UoA was formally established in December 2012 with the objectives:

Major achievements of the Chair (till the end of 2015) include:

These initiatives are presented below following:

CHARTER of Greek Universities for Sustainable Development
The charter has been signed in 2012. Download the charter in English language here and in Greek language here.

Mediterranean Strategy on ESD (MS ESD)
The Mediterranean Strategy on ESD (MSESD) was formally and unanimously endorsed by the 43 Ministers of Environment and Climate Change of the Union for the Mediterranean in their meeting in Athens on 13 May. The Strategy was annexed to the Ministerial Declaration. This is the first Regional Strategy after the UNECE one (and is actually its "child" as it is largely based on it). The aim of this Strategy is to encourage countries of the Mediterranean region to develop and incorporate ESD into all relevant subjects of their formal, non-formal and informal educational systems. The Strategy was developed through a participatory process involving formal and informal educational institutions and relevant government officials. The scientific support was provided by the UNESCO Chair and Network on Sustainable Development Management and Education in the Mediterranean, held by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Mediterranean Information Office (MIO-ECSDE)/MEdIES. The final preparatory process of drafting the Strategy was supported by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Capacity Building/Mediterranean Environment Programme (CB/MEP). Under the Horizon 2020 CB/MEP project a tri-lingual publication on the Strategy which also includes the history, the process and the Strategy itself in English, French and Arabic was also produced. The publication was widely disseminated at Nagoya by Prof. Scoullos and shipped to Ministers of Education and Environment, members, and other major relevant institutions in the region. You can read more here.

Global processes on ESD
The Director was invited by UNESCO as an international expert on ESD/UNESCO Chair holder and participated in the World Conference on ESD in Nagoya (associated events: 8-9 November and 10-12 November: the main Conference). Prof Scoullos played a very active role in various sessions of the Conference, being speaker/panellist, moderator and rapporteur in various Workshops and Side Events. He also handed the publication on the MSESD to UNESCO's Director General Irina Bokova and HSH Princess Lalla Hasnaa of Morocco - the President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment at the opening session of the Conference. The Conference marked the end of the UN Decade on ESD- DESD (2005-2014) and produced/presented the following land-mark documents:

  1. The Final Report of the DESD: "Shaping the future we want" in which the ESD/UNESCO Chair’s partners MIO-ECSDE, the Network of the Mediterranean Universities on ESD and the MEdIES Network of educators have been reported as “good practices of building competences” and “exemplary cases of networking” (Report available here)
  2. The Aichi-Nagoya Declaration, for which Prof. Scoullos had made comments elaborated and sent by the Greek Ministry of Education.
  3. Last but not least, during the Conference the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD was launched. The MEdIES Network activities, the Action Plan of the Mediterranean Strategy on ESD as well as the Network of the Mediterranean Universities on SD/ESD have been included there as "Launching Commitments for the GAP". All Launching Commitments for the GAP on ESD are presented here.
The UNESCO Roadmap for implementing the GAP is available here

UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
Prof. Scoullos co-chairs the UNESCO GAP Partner Network /Priority Area 1: “Advancing Policy”

The UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD was launched at the end conference of the UN DESD in Nagoya (November 2014) seeking to generate and scale-up ESD action. It is intended to make a substantial contribution to the post-2015 agenda. The overall goal of the GAP is to generate and scale up action in all levels and areas of education and learning to accelerate progress towards sustainable development.

The GAP has two main objectives:
The GAP focuses on five priority action areas:
  1. Advancing policy
  2. Transforming learning/training environments (whole-institution approaches);
  3. Building capacities of educators/trainers
  4. Empowering and mobilizing youth
  5. Accelerating sustainable solutions at the local level through community-based ESD programmes.
During the 1st UNESCO GAP Partner Network meeting (Paris, May 2015), Prof. Michael Scoullos was appointed as the Co-Chair of the GAP Partner Network (1) on “Advancing Policy”. All Partner Networks undertake a plethora of activities that feed in a general Work Plan. Some of these activities are considered as champions (flagships) and are recommended as best practices to be up-scaled, or implemented in other regions.

The UNESCO Roadmap for Implementing the GAP on ESD can be found here.

Mediterranean Youth Responses towards sustainable development and the current crisis
This survey targets young persons aged 15-35 years from anywhere in the Mediterranean region to share their thoughts about sustainability issues (environmental, social and economic), the current economic and sociopolitical crisis in many parts of the region as well as your vision for the future. The collected data will be used for scientific purposes and to inform policies and strategies at different levels (National, Mediterranean, Global).

More specifically, this Mediterranean Survey will provide input to the Action Plan of the Mediterranean Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development; the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) 2015-2019; The 10 year Framework for Programmes on Sustainable Consumptions and Production (UNEP); The Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (UNEP/MAP).

The survey runs from June to December 2015. The online questionnaire can be accessed in: English, Greek, and French language.

Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry [and Chemical Oceanography] (LEC)

Profile - Introduction

The research entity of the Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens was created in 1982 as part of the Inorganic and Environmental Chemistry and Technology Division (III) of the Chemistry Department. Professor Michael Scoullos was the founder of the Laboratory as well as a founding member of the first Greek post-graduate course on Ocean Studies established in the University of Athens in 1974. The Environment Chemistry and Chemical Oceanography Research Group was established already in 1982.The Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry has been an independent entity since 2003.

Contact info:
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Department of Chemistry Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry, Panepistimiopolis, Zografou
157 84, Athens, Greece
Tel: +30 210 7274 274 (Prof. M. Scoullos, Director, scoullos@chem.uoa.gr)
+30 210 7274 269 (Prof. M. Dassenakis, edasenak@chem.uoa.gr)
Fax: +30 210 7274 945


The permanent staff of LEC-NKUA comprises of:
Dr. Michael J. Scoullos (Prof. - Director)
Dr. Dimitrios Nikolelis (Prof.)
Dr. Manos Dassenakis (Prof.)
Ms. Vassiliki Mantzara (M.Sc., Technical Research and Administration)
Dr. Fotini Botsou (Researcher)
Dr. Sotirios Karavoltsos (Researcher)
Dr. Vassiliki Paraskevopoulou (Researcher)
Dr. Aikaterini Sakellari (Researcher)
Dr. Eleni Stathopoulou (Researcher)

Associated staff:
Dr Georgios Katsouras (Researcher)
Ms Maria Riga (Researcher)
Ms Theodora Paramana (Researcher)

Furthermore LEC maintains a permanent collaboration in research activities with the following staff of the Department of Chemistry:
Dr. Evangelos Bakeas (Assist. Prof. – Dept. of Chemistry/NKUA, Analytical Chemistry)
Dr. Nikolaos Thomaidis (Assoc. Prof. – Dept. of Chemistry/NKUA, Analytical Chemistry)
Dr. Athanasios Valavanidis (Past Prof.)
Dr P.A. Siskos (Past Prof.)

Members of Departments of the School of Sciences (NKUA), members of Faculty of other Greek Universities and staff of Greek Research Centres:
Dr. Vassilios Roussis (Prof. – Dept. of Pharmacy/NKUA, Pharmacognosy)
Dr. Serafim Poulos (Assoc. Prof. – Dept. of Geology/NKUA, Geomorphology)
Dr. Artemis Nikolaidou (Prof. – Dept. of Biology/NKUA, Zoology)
Dr. Ariadne Argyraki (Associate. Prof. – Dept. Of Geology/NKUA, Economic Geology & Geochemistry)
Dr. Efstratios Kelepertzis (Researcher - Dept. of Geology/NKUA, Econ. Geology & Geochemistry)
Dr. Christina Zeri (Researcher at HCMR)
Dr. Helen Kaberi (Researcher at HCMR)
Dr. Aleka Pavlidou (Researcher at HCMR)
Dr. Eva Krasakopoulou (Assoc. Prof. – Dept. of Marine Sciences/University of the Aegean)

At this point 7 PhD and 20 MSc students are part of LEC-NKUA. (Oct 2015)

LEC-NKUA scientific and technical potential is based on the high expertise of the staff in certain domains of research and technology as well as on equipment facilities of advanced technology providing opportunities for several research activities of different fields. Focusing on environmental chemistry the perspective of the Laboratory includes an integrated and holistic approach of the environment, which has contributed to its very high reputation and the efficient handling of a large number of various types of programs and projects of nearly all aspects of environmental science, technology, management and education.
The Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry has a long-term experience in environmental matters and environmental analytical techniques and is accredited according to ISO/EN 17025. Its research activity and programs are related to the following major directions:
Research activities are carried out in the framework of environmental programs both at national and international levels. Progress elaborated is characteristically reflected in LEC-NKUA statistics: the number of PhDs (>30), MScs (>150), peer-reviewed research publications (>200), University publications/books (24), Environmental education publications (>70), Monographs/books (>15), Publications in Conference Proceedings (>250), produced since the beginning of LEC-NKUA research activities. Significant is the contribution of the cooperation, in which the laboratory participates, with several local and international institutes. Through these collaborations effective transfer of know-how is achieved. The major research programs of the laboratory are based on the following scientific topics:
Affiliations - Collaborations

National Institutes
Most of the Greek Universities
Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (H.C.M.R.) 
General State Chemical Laboratory
“Democritus” Research Centre
National Agricultural Research Foundation (N.AG.RE.F.)
UNEP/ MAP and its RACs
International Institutes
Ruder Boskovic Institute of Zagreb
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Univ. of Dresden
Univ. of Liverpool
Agricultural University of Carthagena,
Marine Environmental Laboratory of Monaco (IAEA)
Bulgarian Academy of Science, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry

International Organizations
Bulgarian Academy of Science, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry

Educational Activities

A major part of the work of the Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry is devoted to its educational activities focused both on undergraduate and post graduate courses offered within the Chemistry Department and the School of Sciences of the University of Athens.

Undergraduate Course - Chemistry Department
Courses offered: Environmental Chemistry (6th Semester - obligatory)
Atmospheric Chemistry (7th Semester – by choice)
Chemical Oceanography (7th Semester – by choice)
Toxicology - Ecotoxicology (8th Semester – by choice)
Environmental Management and Technology (8th Semester – by choice)

Post Graduate Courses

Α) Inter-Departmental Post-Graduate Course on Oceanography (established 1974)
The Laboratory is responsible for the section of Chemical Oceanography

Courses offered:
General Chemical Oceanography
Marine Chemical Pollution
Analytical Chemical Oceanography
Special Chapters of Chemical Oceanography
Management of the Marine Environment
Marine Resources and Marine Chemical Technology
Methodology, Elaboration and Results of Research Programs of Chemical Oceanography

Β) Post-Graduate Course of Chemistry Department: Chemistry and Technology of the Environment (established 1994)

Courses offered:
Chemistry - Pollution of Aquatic Systems
Atmospheric Chemistry - Pollution
Technology of Protection and Environmental Management
Environmental Management and Sustainable Development
Analytical Chemistry – Environmental Applications
Chemical Oceanography
Renewable Energy Sources
Environmental Archaiometry
Consultation methods of environmental matters

C) Post-Graduate Course on Education for Environment and Sustainable Development within the Inter-University Post Graduate course on Chemistry (Science) Education (established 1998)

Courses offered: 
Education for Environment and Sustainable Development I
Education for Environment and Sustainable Development II
Non Formal and Informal Education for Sustainable Development
Environmental Management

The post graduate courses aim at the training of young scientists in order to become specialized in the study, management and protection of the environment, in order to be capable of contributing to the development of the environmental science and of covering the demand both locally and internationally.

Equipment & Infrastructure

Rooms – Laboratories
Scientific Equipment
LEC's available equipment
Research Programmes
Research Interests - Activities

The research scientific activities of the Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry are focusing on the following subjects:
The Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (www.mio-ecsde.org) is the largest non-profit Federation in the Mediterranean with over 128 member NGOs working in the fields of Environment and Development in 25 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean area. Its mission is to protect the Natural Environment and Cultural Heritage and promote Sustainable Development in a peaceful Mediterranean by bringing together the efforts of environmental and developmental NGOs.

In co-operation with governments, international organisations, other socio-economic partners and networks, MIO-ECSDE plays an active role furthering synergies and strengthening public participation in the Mediterranean Region and its countries. MIO-ECSDE acts as a technical and political platform for the intervention of NGOs in the Euro-Mediterranean scene on themes such as natural resources, wastes, biodiversity and cultural diversity, climate change, etc.

Specific activities of MIO-ECSDE systematically carried out include monitoring and influencing EU and regional Mediterranean policies; presenting common NGO positions; promoting Education for Sustainable Development (ESD); Capacity building of specific audiences; Networking, etc.

READ MORE on MIO-ECSDE and its activities here: www.mio-ecsde.org.

The Mediterranean Education Initiative for Environment and Sustainability (MEdIES, www.medies.net) is the major educational and training tool of MIO-ECSDE. It is an initiative on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), launched in Johannesburg during the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD, 2002). It is in line with the principles of the UN Decade on ESD (2005-2014) and is being implemented through various educational activities in the Mediterranean countries.

MEdIES aims to facilitate the educational community at large to contribute apply in practice the principles of Agenda 21, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN Decade for ESD (2005-2014) and the Global Action Plan (GAP) that succeeded it, through the application of innovative educational programmes in all countries around the Mediterranean basin.

The educational programmes developed by MEdIES are based on cross-cutting themes in the existing school-curricula such as themes freshwater, solid wastes, marine litter, diet, etc.

MEdIES activities include, mainly, but not exclusively:
Special emphasis is placed on the ESD learner centered methodologies and to the role of learners as "messengers for sustainability" to their families and local communities. The exchange and close collaboration of countries of north and south in the Mediterranean allows the development of a methodological framework that could be further implemented in other regions of the world.

Read more on MEdIES and its activities here: www.medies.net

The Global Water Partnership Mediterranean (GWP-Med) was established in 2002 as the Mediterranean component of the Global Water Partnership (GWP). Aiming for a water-secure Mediterranean, GWP-Med promotes action, demo application and knowledge exchange on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and the sustainable use of water resources in the region. GWP-Med facilitates a multi-stakeholder platform that brings together 10 major regional networks of different water disciplines (government, river basins, local authorities, professionals, NGOs, research institutes, irrigators, etc) and over 80 other institutions and organisations from both EU and non-EU countries.

Working at regional, national, local and transboundary level, GWP-Med provides technical support to policy making; facilitates dialogue on water security and IWRM issues; and implements demonstration actions. Themes addressed include a range of aspects of governance for IWRM; water financing including private sector participation; adaptation to climate vulnerability and change; river basin/transboundary water management; joint IWRM/Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) planning; Non Conventional Water Resources Management - including at urban level; water demand management; water-food-energy-environment nexus; integrated groundwater management; stakeholders participation; education; capacity building; and networking of targeted groups including decision makers, parliamentarians and the media. Furthermore, GWP-Med addresses gender, equity, youth and poverty as cross-cutting issues.

The GWP-Med Secretariat extends its human resources in Athens, Beirut and Tunis.

Read more n GWP-Med its mission and activities here: www.gwp.org/en/GWP-Mediterranean

Horizon2020 CB/MEP
The EU funded “Horizon 2020 to depollute the Mediterranean” Capacity Building/Mediterranean Environment Programme (H2020 CB/MEP) was implemented from late 2009 until 2014 by the the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) in consortium with several organisations, centres, agencies, and associations. The programme of 140 capacity building and environmental mainstreaming activities supported the implementation of the Horizon 2020 Initiative Road Map and Work Plan through capacity building and awareness raising activities, especially with respect to promoting environmental integration and mainstreaming into other sectoral policies. These activities included trainings, study visits, ad hoc consultations and other activities as appropriate.

Within the framework of the project, Prof. Scoullos developed an e-learning course on innovative Waste Water Treatment. To register and complete the course for free visit: www.envirolearning.net/h2020/index.php


Presentation at the UfM http://ufmsecretariat.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/The-Mediterranean-Strategy-on-Education-for-Sustainable-Development-MSESD.pdf

Relevant links / publications

Shaping the Future We Want: UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) – Final Report full text (PDF)

Learning for the future: Competences in Education for Sustainable Development – full text (PDF)

Strengthening Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) policies in the Mediterranean – Course Evaluation Report – full text

Selected publications and resources (multilingual)

UNIVERITY publications (Link pending)

MIO – ECSDE Resources

MEdIES publications

GWP Med publications

IMF publication (in press)

Mediterranean mosaic (PDF file)

"Orontes" (UNESCO – GWP-Med) (PDF file)

Inventory of Shared Water Resources in Western Asia (ESCWA publication) (PDF file)