Karlovo, Bulgaria

Integrated Management, Sustainable Tourism, and Promotion of Biosphere Reserves

when 21 July 2019 - 28 July 2019
language English
duration 1 week

The Summer University seeks to provide a high-quality training to post graduate students, young scientists, and practitioners from Biosphere Reserves from Europe and the Mediterranean on “Integrated management, sustainable tourism, and promotion of biosphere reserves”. Additionally, the Summer University will seek to engage the participants through an active learning process, providing them with the opportunity to develop ideas for joint projects focusing on further promotion of BRs and the MAB programme, while also experiencing first-hand the rich natural and cultural heritage of the Central Balkan BR.
The Summer University provides an intensive, multidisciplinary, and experiential training aiming to develop the understanding and competences of the trainees on the multiple values of the Biosphere Reserves as "laboratories" and "catalysts" for Sustainable Development. It specifically aims to deepen the understanding of and offer insights on the integrated management approaches and sustainable tourism strategies for Biosphere Reserves and their promotion, through presenting a plethora of BR management examples.

The Summer University intents also to stimulate the participants, thought interactive and project work methodology, to contribute to the development of ideas for joint projects and future collaborations.

Course leader

The Summer University is co-organized and supported by:

Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation

Central Balkan Biosphere Reserve

UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture

Target group

- people actively working or involved within existing Biosphere Reserves or from areas that are currently developing their nomination process to the MAB Programme;
- employees in management bodies or local authorities of Biosphere Reserves and/or other designated areas or in private/public organization working on Sustainable Development;
- young scientists, recent graduates, or researchers on Sustainable Development and Management, Biosphere Reserves, Environmental Policies, Tourism, and/or Protected Areas.

Course aim

The event will include theoretic sessions, discussions, and interactive sessions as well as group work and field visits and meetings in significant 'hotspots' in the area (organic farms, guest-houses, open-air museums, eco-paths).

During the group work sessions, each group (facilitated by a tutor) will investigate a specific topic, while combining their findings with input from lectures and visits. The foreseen topics are:

Large-scale joint communication projects promoting the MAB programme (locally and internationally)*
Connecting and involving young people into the MAB network*
Enhancement of local products and tourist services for the sustainable development of the territory
Education for Sustainable Development projects within BRs
*Groups A and B are preferably aimed at participants who are in connection with a Biosphere Reserve

The lectures and group work will be held by highly experienced professors from the University of Athens, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and Sofia University, as well as experts from Italy, Spain, Greece, and Bulgaria, such as prof. Michael Scoullos, dott. Filippo Lenzerini, and Jonathan Baker.

Fee info

EUR 0: Thanks to the support provided by the sponsors of the Summer University, no inscription fees will be requested. The organization will cover:

- accommodation and meals;
- connection with the Sofia airport, Bus and Train Station
- all local transport; and
- equipment and guide(s) for excursions and visits.

The travel costs to reach and leave Bulgaria will have to be covered by the participants. All participants shall arrive before July 21st (Sunday).


There will be a limited number of scholarships available for sponsored participants based on their profile and motivation described in the application form.