The first Joint International Centre Working Meeting of UNIGreen has ended after two and a half days of intense work, meetings, debate, and personal relationships among more than 100 representatives of the eight institutions that make up the Alliance. The great effort had its reward since the Alliance has made significant progress in the objectives of UNIgreen.
In addition to the meetings of the nine work packages, the Board of Directors and the Management Panel (the Alliance’s operational body) met. On the third and final day, the participants held inter-working group meetings to deal with cross-cutting issues that jointly affect various areas of the Alliance. They established joint action plans at these meetings and defined how each work package could contribute to different actions and deliverables.
The acting Rector of UAL, Carmelo Rodríguez, thanked the participants for the great effort in this crucial UNIgreen meeting, which has substantially boosted its development. Furthermore, he has confirmed that he will maintain his connection with the Alliance even after he completes his term as the Rector of the University of Almeria.
Tomás Lorenzana, general coordinator of UNIgreen, the European Green University, has presented the general conclusions to all attendees and thanked them for their willingness and good work. “It has been a great opportunity to see each other in person and to discuss and progress in achieving our objectives. I hope that we all got a real idea of the enormous dimension of our Alliance and the progress we have achieved in these two and a half days here in Almeria. Of course, there are still many years of work to come”.
He also pointed out the importance of this event: “Until now, each WP has focused on its area of expertise. This event helped everyone to realise and be aware of the work of each work package (WP) since almost all of them are interrelated and have joint issues that we must explore. “
María Fernanda Rodríguez, responsible for European Projects at UAL and technical coordinator of UNIgreen, emphasised that “Overall, the Alliance is moving in the right direction with its agenda. Although some work packages’ schedules require adjustments, the different units, coordinators, and co-coordinators manage them efficiently.
She has also indicated that “all the annual work plans, which are the main planning instruments of the units, are almost ready. During our first meeting, we established a foundation of understanding that work packages are not isolated compartments. Often, activities overlap and require coordination with other work packages. By realising this, we can collaborate more efficiently and effectively. That’s why we believe understanding these interrelationships will increase awareness of the transforming process our institutions are experiencing.”
This first annual in-person meeting tested the consortium’s functionality and the Alliance announced that the 2nd Joint International Centre Working Meeting will take place from 13th to 16th of October 2024 at the Agricultural University of Iceland.