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Dr. Turki Faisal Al Rasheed has been appointed as Advisor to the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit (ESDU) at the Faculty of Agricultural an Food Sciences (FAFS) the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.
ESDU was founded in 2001 at FAFS AUB as a grassroots outreach interdisciplinary Research and Development (R&D) center specialized in sustainable agriculture and rural community development. ESDU has established a strong base in rural sustainable livelihoods, participatory resource management and community-based initiatives drawing on the resources of a wide variety of donors and partners.
Dr. Al Rasheed is an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA. His role and contribution is to share his vast experience in the field social agriculture for the benefit of the rural areas in Lebanon. More importantly, Dr Al Rasheed goal is to facilitate the collaboration between ESDU FAFS and the Gulf states leadership donation to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to give small proportion of funds to ESDU that could be used as funds for farming inputs in the rural areas of Lebanon with the able support of Saudi Universities and the University of Arizona. Dr Al Rasheed goals are aligned to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) . Furthermore he will be seeking the collaboration of the UN ESCWA to achieve sustainable development in the rural areas and will seek FAO assistance to achieve food security in the region.
Since ESDU inception, it has managed to establish itself as one of the major trendsetters in R&D in the MENA region, mobilizing large grants and managing major regional networks such as KARIANET on knowledge management in rural areas. ESDU is currently hosting and supporting the thriving RCODE master (Rural Community Development MS program at FAFS) and is serving as the FAFS engagement and outreach unit. ESDU has served as an incubator for local food system and established the Food Heritage Foundation that aims to preserving and reviving Lebanese local knowledge and traditions around food.
With Dr. Al Rasheed appointment as advisor to ESDU, his contribution and experience can impact the goals and objectives of ESDU towards sustainable ESDU.