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Challenges for the Green Sector



EUROPEA – Spain has the honour to invite you to a course

From 16 to 20 October 2023 (Week 42)

in Cáceres – Extremadura – Spain.


Venue: “Gran Hotel Don Manuel”




EUROPEA, l’Europe de l’Enseignement Agronomique, is an association working for the development of vocational education and training (VET) in the green sector of Europe. This area covers a wide range of professions within agriculture, farming, horticulture, landscaping, forestry, equine studies, and others – including all courses that are land-based and fit under the big umbrella of Green VET.


EUROPEA – Spain, Asociación para la Promoción de la Formación Agraria, Alimentaria y Medioambiental, is a non-profit association created with the purpose of promoting activities aimed at research, development, innovation and promotion of agricultural, food and environmental vocational training, both initial and continuing VET. These activities will support training centres and other public and private bodies or entities, as well as teachers and other technical or administrative staff working within the scope of this Association. The net is nowadays composed by 27 member schools all over the country, in rural areas and in cities, which offer education within vocational education. Additionally, other 28 people, mostly teachers or staff management connected with green sector are also involved on an individual basis.


Both organisations have existed in 30 years and are experienced in organising international events. They both emphasize collaboration and knowledge sharing and will pool their resources, expertise, and experiences to create a course that benefits from a broader perspective. They can combine their respective strengths, such as EUROPEA International’s European reach and EUROPEA Spain’s national focus, to provide a comprehensive learning experience that caters to participants from various backgrounds and contexts. This synergy enables them to organize a course that is comprehensive, industry-relevant, and impactful, providing participants with a high-quality learning experience in the green sector.



 Climate change is already a fact, and its effects are producing undesirable consequences with a strong impact on the primary agricultural sector and the environment. In some southern European countries, such as Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta, prolonged periods of drought, combined with extreme heat waves and short periods of torrential rainfall are causing floods and ecological disasters such as major forest fires, destruction of arable land, desertification, abandonment of farms and rural depopulation. In this scenario of strong pressure on the agricultural production sector due to environmental conditions that make food production extremely difficult, the sector itself is often blamed for being part of the problem, accusing it of contributing to environmental deterioration by making an abusive and unsustainable use of natural resources, and/or causing the pollution of soils, aquifers and seas by the concentration of waste from intensive livestock farming or the excessive use of fertilisers and pesticides. Furthermore, it is estimated that agriculture consumes 72% of the planet’s freshwater resources, in addition to an exponential increase in the conversion of previously non- irrigated or unproductive land into irrigable areas.

However, the agricultural sector can stop being part of the problem and become part of the solution. This can be done through sustainable management practices that allow the production of food needed to feed the population while contributing to the conservation and regeneration of the environment. This requires three-pronged combined actions, from the renewal and incorporation of state-of-the-art technology into production systems, with a change in the attitude of producers and consumers and training young people and farmers to bring about the necessary change. And it is here, in this last area, where Europe’s agricultural vocational training centres have an important role to play, for which it is essential to train teachers beforehand. And this is the aim of this course, to encourage training and joint reflection of teachers from several European countries to find together innovative solutions to successfully address the challenges facing the sector, more specifically the shortage of freshwater due to the combined effects of climate change and unsustainable overexploitation of water resources.


Course agenda

 In this course participants will work with the following three questions:

  • What challenges does the Climate Change entail for the agricultural and environmental sectors in your country?
  • How can the land-based VET-sector contribute to face these challenges?
  • How can we cooperate across Europe to develop the learning offer within the land-based VET-sector?

The course takes point of departure in examples of good practises and innovation that are already been implemented in the western of Spain and within the land-based sector of the Region of Extremadura. Participants will learn about exploiting the opportunities and responding to the challenges and connect these examples to a broader European context as well as to their own experience. They will learn how cooperation across Europe can be used to develop the learning offer within the land-based VET-sector. Finally, they will learn how to use the international cooperation trough the EUROPEA network of schools in the land-based sector to find solutions to common problems.

The course is based in a mainly constructivist pedagogical approach. It includes various teaching methods aiming at engaging and activating participants, but also some lectures and technical visits to farms and water irrigations systems.

The course will be conducted in English.


Learning outcomes

 Upon this course the participants will

  • Know about European perspectives on the impact of the Climate Change on the land- based VET-sector,
  • Know a range of strategies to cope with the Climate Change challenges, mainly in those connected with the sustainable freshwater
  • Improve their pedagogical abilities to applying them into their teaching process in the land-based VET-sector,
  • Understand the importance of international cooperation to find common solutions to common challenges,
  • Be introduced to European projects as a tool to develop appropriate responses from a sustainable approach to common challenges connected with agriculture and

Furthermore, the course will stimulate peer relationships among the participants to strengthen future cooperation.

The course is led by Gonzalo Barredo de Valenzuela, an experienced teacher in the fields of forestry and environment, who will coordinate a team of ten other people, all of them connected with Green VET schools in different specific areas of teaching or institutional management all- around of Spain. Also, a group of assisting trainers will be involved. The course providers will ensure that their staff members are positive, constructive, respectful, and create a supporting learning environment.



Among others, the following lectures will be involved.

Mr. Casey Walsh is Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Chair of the Department of Anthropology. His main line of research revolves around agricultural political economy in arid zones, particularly the US-Mexico border area. Walsh has researched the different forms of water exploitation, and how land and labour have been organised in arid areas. His first book (Building the Borderlands: A Transnational History of Irrigated Cotton along the Mexico-Texas Border, 2008, Texas A&M Press) details how a regime of accumulation based on irrigated cotton agriculture shaped infrastructure, society and culture in the Texas-Tamaulipas border area. Her second book (Virtuous Waters: Mineral Springs, Bathing and Infrastructure in Mexico, 2018, University of California Press) explores the ways in which waters have been conceptualised, used, and managed as heterogeneous and effective over time in Mexico. Walsh is currently conducting an ethnographic study of the new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in California, and how that law is changing the economy and society. In 2021 Walsh received a Fulbright grant to study the social use of water in southern Spain.


Mr. Francisco Rodríguez-Jiménez, is professor at the University of Extremadura, and of Global Studies in Salamanca. He has won two Fulbright scholarships. Visiting Scholar at several universities: Instituto de Ciências Sociais de Lisboa; Harvard University, Johns Hopkins- Bologna, among others. He collaborates with several media: the Spanish-language podcast of the Washington Post, NTN24, Fair Observer, Cadena COPE, RTP2-Portugal, El Mundo, La Sexta, Canal Extremadura. He has coordinated several collective works with colleagues, for example: Time for Persuasion: U.S. Public Diplomacy Strategies in Latin America (Routledge, 2023). The Impossible American. Estados Unidos y América Latina, entre modernización y contrainsurgencia (Sílex Ultramar, 2023). The Badajoz Plan: between economic modernisation and political propaganda (Diputación de Badajoz, 2022). With illustrations by Fermín Solís and Celia Conejero: El emperador que meditaba en La Vera; Wandering in La Vera: meditations of an emperor; and Carlos V y La Vera: proyecto didáctico para aprender descubriendo, published by the publications service of the University of Extremadura in 2021.

Ms. M. del Henar Prieto Losada, she is Head of the Horticulture Department at CICITEX (Centro de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas de Extremadura).

In addition, the participants will meet representatives from the institutions and companies visited during the programme. They will be introducing the challenges and solutions in a real-life context.


Targeted public

The course is designed for teachers, international coordinators, project leaders and school leaders from educational institutions in the land-based VET-sector. Participants from 24 European countries are invited.



  • Participants must be selected from their sending institution by following the Erasmus+ values and principles of equal opportunities, inclusion, and diversity.
  • Participants are kindly asked to do the following in advance: Please consider question 1 and 2 in the course agenda and prepare to share experience and thoughts.
  • It is recommended that participants bring their own laptop or similar



Monday 16th

Arrival day

Organization will provide two shuttle transportation form Adolfo Suarez International Airport in Madrid to the venue Hotel Don Manuel in Cáceres by grouping participant in two groups. Anyway, if any participant prefers to use other traveling options, we will inform about other transport possibilities

20:30 Welcome dinner in Hotel Don Manuel

Tuesday 17th

Time Activity
9:00 Official opening ceremony

Welcome speeches of representatives from:

·         Major of Cáceres

·         National Coordinator of EUROPEA-Spain

·         General Secretary of EUROPEA

·         Junta de Extremadura Authorities

·         Spanish Agriculture Ministry

9:45 Program presentation and general information.
10:00 1th Lecture. Coping with the lack freshwater Professor from California
10:45 Coffee break
11:15 Ice break. Preparing participants for learning cooperation. Activities to introduce participants.
11:45 1st Workshop

Challenges and opportunities with the freshwater management in the participant countries

12:45 Bus traveling to the agricultural school CFMR Don Benito
13:30 Lunch in the CFMR Don Benito
15:00 Guided Visit by students to CFMR Don Benito school. Explanation and demonstrations
16:00 Visit to a farm. Good example of sustainable water management
18:30 Bus traveling back to Cáceres
19:30 Guided Visit to Cáceres UNESCO World Heritage City
20:30 Dinner in Hotel Don Manuel


Wednesday 18th

8:30 National coordinators meeting
8:30 Rest of participants prepare their presentations for the next activity
9:30 Market of good practices in agricultural sustainable management
11:00 Coffee break
11:30 2nd lecture. Research results of crops with low water input systems CICITEX
12:30 Bus: Traveling to Mérida
13:30 Lunch in Mérida
15:00 Technical visit to a water resort in combination with solar panels systems
17:00 Cultural visit to Roman Archeologic monumental area in Mérida
19:30 Bus: traveling back to Cáceres
20:30 Dinner in Hotel Don Manuel


Thursday 19th

9:00 3rd Lecture: New professional profiles for the green sector, by Caixabank Dualiza
9:45 4th Lecture: Farmers community for irrigated lands
10:15 5th Lecture: Training for farmers, the need of getting competences to face the new challenges. By Agricultural Ministry of Spain
11: 00 Coffee Break
11:30 Proposals for international collaboration. Presentation of proposal for new common projects.
12:30 30th Anniversary of EUROPEA – International
13:30 Bryndis for EUROPEA – International anniversary
13:45 Lunch
15:30 Technical visit to farms
18:00 Free time
20:30 Farewell dinner


Friday 20th

 After breakfast, departure of participants, transport will be organized to airport in Madrid.


The participation fee is 450 € per person (shared room); 580 € if you want a single room. The fee covers all the costs of accommodation, food, visits, and transportation during the activities of the meeting. Transfers from the airport to the hotel, and vice versa, are also included.


A maximum of 4 people per country will be admitted if they agree to share room (no more than 2 rooms per country). The places not used will be distributed among other interested participants.


To register, follow this link: Please, make your preregistrations until 26 th of July 2023.

Later, after the confirmation of being admitted, participants will be asked to confirm their registration by paying the fee until the 15th of September 2023


The participants can cancel their participation after registration, and they will receive the reimbursement of their already paid fee as long as they inform about until 14:00 hours of 6th October 2023.


In case of changes in fees, content, dates, location or schedule of the activities, the participant can cancel her/his participation at no extra costs and with at reasonable advance notice.

In case of events outside of participant’s and course provider’s control (such as natural disasters or serious transport disruptions), the participant can cancel her/his participation and will be reimbursed cost for the part of the course not attended to.


The best option to travel to Cáceres is via Madrid airport. Organisers will arrange transport from the airport to the hotel on March 16 and 20 by grouping participants into two shuttles.


If you prefer to travel by yourself, specific transport information will be given to the participants who ask for it according to their preferences.

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