Global Students Unite: Tackling Environmental Challenges at Erasmus+ MUN in Antalya

The Erasmus+ mobility project, titled „Model United Nations” (MUN) and focused on environmental issues, took place in Antalya, Turkiye, from April 15th to 19th, 2024. This event was the second mobility under the Erasmus+ program, aimed at engaging students in crucial discussions on global environmental challenges, fostering international cooperation, and enhancing participants’ skills in diplomacy, leadership, and problem-solving. Participants were from France, Italy, Serbia, Poland, Romania, Ireland and, of course, Turkiye.

The first two days of the program were dedicated to intensive conference sessions, where students participated in simulations of United Nations committees. The 80 students, representing various countries, were divided into three main committees: the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), UN-Habitat, and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF). These committees provided a platform for discussing and addressing various environmental issues.

The UNDRR committee focused on earthquake preparedness and the framework for international support. The students debated and drafted resolutions that emphasized the importance of implementing legal regulations to prevent construction in high-risk areas, updating building codes to enhance earthquake resistance, and educating the public on earthquake preparedness. They also discussed the development and integration of advanced warning systems and the coordination of international and local disaster response efforts.

In the UN-Habitat committee, the discussions revolved around sustainable urbanization practices that address earthquake risks. Key resolutions included the use of AI and drones for urban planning and risk detection, the creation of foundations to raise awareness and funds for green spaces, and the provision of technology and expertise to assist developing countries. The committee also stressed the importance of ensuring that new constructions meet stringent durability standards.

The WWF committee aimed to improve standards for nature reserves and protect wildlife. The students proposed resolutions to reduce air pollution and prevent illicit hunting, establish and upgrade national parks with advanced technologies, and encourage biodiversity through better habitat conditions. They also supported sustainable energy solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change on national parks and endangered species.

The third and fourth days of the program were dedicated to cultural and social excursions, offering participants a break from the rigorous conference sessions and an opportunity to explore the cultural and historical heritage of Turkey. The excursion to Demre included a visit to the ancient city of Myra, renowned for its rock-cut tombs and the Church of St. Nicholas, as well as a scenic boat tour along the coast. The visit to Side featured the old town, famous for its ancient ruins and beautiful beaches. These excursions provided a deeper understanding of Turkey’s rich history and natural beauty and allowed students and teachers to bond and share experiences beyond the conference setting.

The final day of the program featured a certificate ceremony and the presentation of the resolution papers developed during the conference. These documents, reflecting the collaborative efforts and innovative solutions proposed by the students, will be shared with local and international policy-making institutions to influence future environmental policies.

The Erasmus+ mobility project had a significant impact on all participants. It enhanced their understanding of global environmental issues, improved their communication, leadership, and teamwork skills, and increased their cultural awareness and appreciation for diversity. The project also fostered greater engagement in civil and diplomatic efforts to address world problems. Participants left Antalya not only with certificates but also with a renewed sense of responsibility towards the environment and a commitment to continue their involvement in Model United Nations activities, both locally and internationally.

The success of this mobility project promises to inspire future Erasmus+ projects and MUN conferences. By sharing their experiences and achievements with their peers and communities, participants will help expand the reach and impact of these educational initiatives, fostering a new generation of environmentally conscious global citizens.


prof. Aurelia Cucu

Colegiul de Industrie Alimentară Elena Doamna, Galați (Galaţi) , România
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