02.07.2013 - UNESCO Office in Venice

Call for Applications: UNESCO School in South East Europe - Sustainable Energy Governance in World Heritage sites (Deadline: 15 August 2013)

©UNESCO/Francesco Bandarin - Old City of Dubrovnik

UNESCO Venice Office is pleased to announce the UNESCO School in South East Europe: Sustainable Energy Governance in UNESCO World Heritage sites scheduled to take place in Dubrovnik, Croatia, from 30 September to 5 October 2013.

“Sustainable energy is a key priority and a top priority for the United Nations and myself as Secretary-General, because it is central to everything we do, and central to everything we want to achieve ”.

Energy displays a high multidimensional nature since it has a strategic interaction with regard to the environment, peace, national and international security, economic development and growth.

This is a major issue of the UN agenda. In June 2009 the UN Secretary General appointed the Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC) and the UN-led global initiative of promoting sustainable energy for all in the next two decades.

The centrality of energy in sustainable development and climate change mitigation has been also reconfirmed by the recent international conference of Rio+20 as stated in its main commitments for action enclosed in the outcome document, “The Future We Want”. Here is an appeal for energy that is accessible, cleaner and more efficient according to the Sustainable energy for all campaign. It is linked to the need to advance greener and more efficient energy technologies along with the adoption of energy efficiency measures to be adopted in urban and territorial planning, buildings, transportation, etc.

The current and next generation of scientists, policy-makers, public-private managers are called upon to meet these new challenges. Consequently, UNESCO and the international community should be prepared to offer more ambitious educational programmes with particular emphasis in countries and regions where renewable energy and energy efficiency are at early stages of development and implementation like in South East Europe.

UNESCO has been entrusted by the international community in promoting education and international cooperation on renewable energy since the establishment of the World Solar Commission in 1995 and recently launched the overarching Climate Change Initiative RENFORUS (Renewable Energy Futures for UNESCO Sites) that aims to enhance and apply the Climate Change knowledge base to building green societies, involving the sustainable use of renewable energy sources in Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage Sites. The environmental preservation of UNESCO Sites requires an increased use of locally available renewable energy sources. RENFORUS plays a catalytic role in building a knowledge base and associated policies and disseminating related best practices on the use of environmentally sound energy technologies and their adaptation to specific contexts and needs.

UNESCO has been pursuing these goals worldwide in collaboration with the international Sustainable Energy Development Centre (ISEDC), UNESCO Chairs on Renewable Energy (RE) and through the support of its Field Offices, including the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe. Lately REs have become increasingly intertwined with climate change due to a broader recognition of the growing role of energy in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and in climate change mitigation policies, facing a global trend of continuing growth in energy consumption.

In consideration of the above, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe commits to education, training, networking and promoting conference activities on renewable energy in SEE. The chosen strategy is to employ a crosscutting approach, by leveraging the knowledge and expertise of UNESCO programmes and merging external resources accordingly. With such a perspective, in recent years the Office has been working in sustainable development and sustainable energy related issues by interfacing natural sciences with social sciences, cultural and natural sites.

With this in mind, the UNESCO School in South East Europe represents a unique educational opportunity to enhance capacity-building in sustainable energy by conveying in a single venue a substantial capital of knowledge developed in World Heritage Sites in Europe. These sites have proved they have an important word to say about sustainability, in terms of education, management, and scientific knowledge to be regionally shared and applied.

Experienced lecturers will highlight, through which methodologies, how to link advanced technologies in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy with the preservation of historical buildings, towns and natural settings. A broad array of narratives from UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Eastern and Western Europe will constitute the backbone of the desk-based part of the school. However, renovation and adaptation of physical structures alone won’t exhaust the educational purpose of the course since the energy governance issue will also be investigated. In particular, trainees will be taught how to integrate energy into the planning and management of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and how to accommodate contemporary knowledge to traditional buildings.

The School will be held at the University of Dubrovnik. The course will also include a number of team working sessions and on-site exercises which will use the World Heritage Site of Dubrovnik as a demonstration case.

Finally, trainees will also participate in the International Fall Workshop: “Upgrading Life in Historical Towns – Renewable Energy” (Dubrovnik, 5 October 2013) which will be part of the UNESCO School programme and where they will present the outputs of their work at the final day of the conference. 


  • Offer educational support to World Heritage local-central governmental officials, site planners and managers, scientists, practitioners and researchers with applied interest on sustainable energy governance issues;
  • Build capacities on renewable energy and energy efficiency promotion using UNESCO designated sites for learning and sharing knowledge;
  • Strengthen the dissemination of information on renewable energy and energy efficiency potentials in UNESCO designated sites;
  • Enhance problem solving capacity and critical thinking through the adoption of an interdisciplinary approach of sustainable energy issues;
  • Promoting the interface between young researchers and practitioners with industrial partners of high profile for the improvement of summer school technical provision and follow-up.

Target group

With its interdisciplinary approach the School targets a broad audience that includes World Heritage managers, scientists, practitioners and researchers with applied interests in sustainable energy governance issues, preferably but not exclusively in UNESCO designated sites, from following countries in South East Europe and Caucasus: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, UNMIK/Kosovo.


The following candidates are eligible to apply:

  • Current postgraduate students (master’s and PhD candidates) in natural and human sciences on sustainable energy governance related topics;
  • Postdoctoral researchers in natural and human sciences on sustainable energy governance related topics.
  • Graduated energy related professionals working in the public (municipalities, agencies, research institutes) or private sectors (enterprises, NGOs, etc.) with at least 3 years of experience in the field of Sustainable Energy.
  • Knowledge of and work experience in UNESCO designated sites would be an advantage.

All candidates should have good knowledge of English. They should be able to work in teams and in an interdisciplinary fashion. They will be required to take part in all the activities foreseen in the programme. At the end of school, they will be required to make a public presentation as decided and assigned with the tutor(s) on a particular module/theme at the conclusive session of the International Fall Workshop:Upgrading Life in Historical Towns – Renewable Energy”.

No fees will be required by selected participants. The organizers will cover full board accommodation costs. Official language of the school is English.
Students will receive an official Certificate of Attendance.

Please before applying, be aware that due to the intensive nature of the programme and its short duration participants may be asked to work beyond the scheduled work time.


Applications shall be submitted by email to veniceoffice-sc(at)unesco.org 
Candidates shall provide their CV and a short letter of motivation with related experience in sustainable energy (both documents in English).

Deadline for application is 15 August 2013.

The selection of candidate will be carried out by an international panel of experts. Selected candidates will be notified of the outcome of evaluation by 30 August 2013.

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