The ERASMUS+ Jean Monnet project, approved for funding under the EU Jean Monnet 2020 activities (JMA2020, call EAC/A02/2019), titled “Modern techniques to ensure environmental sustainability in Eastern Europe” or MEET, has been implemented at the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Sarajevo for the third year and is currently in its final phase.
Key objectives of the MEET project:
- Develop a new curriculum based on EU practices for environmental conservation and disaster risk reduction.
- Create a comprehensive yet user-friendly software for environmental analysis and water management.
- Strengthen the research community’s capacity in Eastern Europe to address environmental protection issues.
- Raise awareness among the general public and policymakers in Eastern European countries about global ecological challenges and the importance of environmental protection for sustainable development.
Despite the challenging conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Project Leader Sabrija Čadro and the international team (https://meet.motherlandia.org/en/team/) of participants including Monika Marković (Croatia), Milan Gocić (Serbia), Ognjen Žurovec (Ireland), and Mirza Uzunović (Bosnia and Herzegovina), successfully completed most of the planned activities.
A project website (https://meet.motherlandia.org/about-2/ )was created, along with an official contact email address (email@example.com), a YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/@MEETJeanMonnet ), and a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MEET.JeanMonnet/ ) which currently has 292 followers.
Teaching activities concluded in May 2023, yielding outstanding results. A curriculum was developed for five teaching modules:
- Module A – Sustainable Agriculture (https://meet.motherlandia.org/module-a/ )
- Module B – Climate Change and Its Impact on People and Natural Systems (https://meet.motherlandia.org/module-b/ )
- Module C – Climate-Smart Agricultural Technologies and Practices in Land and Water Management (https://meet.motherlandia.org/module-c/ )
- Module D – Sustainable Land and Water Management (https://meet.motherlandia.org/module-d/ )
- Module E – Drought in a Changing Environment (https://meet.motherlandia.org/module-e/ )
Comprehensive teaching/didactic materials were created, organized into three documents:
- Modern techniques to ensure environmental sustainability with a focus on sustainable agriculture
- Sustainable Management of Water and Land Resources
- Drought in a Changing Environment
Teaching materials can be accessed via the link: https://meet.motherlandia.org/teaching/ .
Teaching was conducted through video lectures and direct contact hours. Presentation materials on the project’s YouTube channel collected 8,075 views, with 2,502 watch time hours and 888 likes (https://www.youtube.com/@MEETJeanMonnet ). Only a portion of the video materials is publicly available, the rest of the presentations can be viewed upon request sent to the project leader at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The project plan anticipated the participation of 188 attendees, however, this number was surpassed multiple times, with over 400 attendees registering for the teaching modules. Of these, 195 individuals successfully completed various MEET modules and received certificates of attendance. Participants came from across the region, including Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
A list of all participants by modules and years of attendance is available on the module pages: https://meet.motherlandia.org/module-a/ .
The “MEET alumni” network was established, comprising individuals who successfully completed one of the five MEET modules. The network’s primary role is to ensure continued collaboration on research and projects related to ecological challenges and the importance of environmental protection for sustainable development. The network has 124 members, with 93 being female and 31 male. Participants are predominantly from Bosnia and Herzegovina (88), followed by Croatia (28), Serbia (5), and Montenegro (3).
Based on internal evaluations of teaching modules and teachers, conducted after the completion of each cycle of teaching activities, participants consistently provided high ratings.
In addition to teaching, the project also involves research activities (https://meet.motherlandia.org/en/research/), including three scientific papers published in international journals and participation in an international scientific conference.
From May 19th to May 20th, 2022, the MEET Team participated in the ninth international conference “WATER FOR ALL” held in Osijek, Croatia. The MEET team, led by Project Leader Sabrija Čadro (University of Sarajevo) and Monika Marković (University of Josip Juraj Strossmayer in Osijek), presented a paper titled: “Climate Change Impacts on Water Balance Components in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia”. The paper was later published in the international journal Agriculture & Forestry, Vol. 69 Issue 2: 101-116, 2023, Podgorica and is available at the link: http://www.agricultforest.ac.me/data/20230630-08%20Cadro%20et%20al..pdf .
The creation of the SRCLET desktop software tool (Soil wateR CircuLation and EvapoTranspiration software) marks the culmination of the project. This tool will enable the calculation of various indices and climate parameters, as well as the creation of new calculation models. SRCLET is currently in the final stage of preparation and model verification. Upon completion, SRCLET will be available as an open-source, free software accessible to all (https://meet.motherlandia.org/srclet/ ).
Related to SRCLET is a book that will contain explanations of all mathematical models present in the software, as well as the preparation of webinars and YouTube video materials demonstrating the practical applications of SRCLET. The digital format of the book, webinar, and the software tool itself will be available for free through the project website.