BELLINGHAM - Nicholas Zaferatos and Gigi Berardi, professors in Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment, and James Loucky, professor in WWU's Department of Anthropology, participated as expert contributors at an international workshop March 24-28 at the Rockefeller Foundation Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy.
The workshop was hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation and focused on the development of a fair trade olive-oil industry linking rural Mediterranean agricultural communities to the global marketplace.
The conference at Bellagio, directed by Zaferatos, represented the second in a series of four workshops to advance the objectives of the EUROMED Sustainable Connections Project. The first conference was held in December 2007 in Athens, Greece; subsequent conferences will be held in Tunisia and on the island of Kefalonia, Greece, where WWU students enrolled in Kefalonia's International Program for Sustainable Community Development will also participate.
The EUROMED project establishes the network for European-Mediterranean partnerships benefiting marginalized rural communities in Jordan, Palestine, Greece, Tunisia and Italy by conceiving, developing and implementing culturally appropriate and economically viable forms of sustainable community development. Participants in the project include nonprofit organizations from each of the participating communities. The project is sponsored by the Anna Lindh Foundation; the United Nations University in Amman, Jordan; and Hellenic American University in Athens.
Zaferatos and Brian K. Burton, dean of the WWU College of Business and Economics (CBE), are also exploring ways to involve both CBE and Huxley students in research to develop sustainable business models supporting Mediterranean fair trade rural development enterprises. Future research is expected to be conducted in cooperation with Hellenic American University and the United Nations University during winter quarter 2009.
For more information contact Nicholas Zaferatos, professor of Planning and Environmental Policy, Huxley College of the Environment, at (306) 650-7660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.