The Environment and Sustainable Development Unit (ESDU) is an inter-disciplinary research and development center specialized in community development and sustainable agriculture hosted at the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS) of the American University of Beirut (AUB).
Established in 2001, ESDU aims at promoting collaboration for sustainable development and acts as an interdisciplinary R&D center specialized in community development and sustainable agriculture. ESDU seeks to break away from the traditional compartmentalization of research and to put current understanding from research into the hands of the user and policy-maker communities.
ESDU has always championed a multidisciplinary and participatory approach to development, which helps ensuring that research is grounded in the needs of local people. We always work “ahead of the curve" and focus on contextualizing emerging development trends and paradigms, making them utilization-driven and most importantly relevant to the local development context in MENA, starting from the sustainable livelihoods framework back in 2001 to appreciative approaches to development evaluation in 2011.
This article “Lebanon's ESDU: Championing Research for Development" (French version) covers the work of ESDU from 2005 onwards .
IDRC has been a privileged intellectual partner and its support acted as a major catalyst for establishing ESDU. Our list of institutional partners also includes FAO, IFAD, RUAF, several UN agencies (UNDP) as well as several US based agencies such as USAID, USDA and many others.
The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences offers an interdepartmental Graduate
Program, hosted by ESDU, leading to a Graduate degree of Master of Science (MS) in Rural Community Development (RCODE). Click here for flyer.
KariaNet: Knowledge Access for Rural Inter-connected Areas Network, a regional network established by IDRC and IFAD and hosted by ESDU for the management and sharing of knowledge, information and experience in agriculture and rural development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region; supported by IDRC
Thematic discussions are held on a weekly basis on KariaNet's official Facebook page.
ESDU organized the "Spring Souk” Farmers' Market on Thursday March 16, 2017 in FAFS courtyard from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The market included a variety of fresh, traditional and healthy products (Fruits & vegetables, mouneh, pastries, saj etc.).