Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere on the agenda during 2020 SDG conference in Bergen
On Day Zero of the 2020 Bergen SDG Conference, Storelogen at Kvarteret was crowded with more than 80 enthusiastic people eager to discuss Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere as an arena for sustainable development. The interactive workshop was arranged by the UNESCO Chair at the University of Bergen, the Norwegian National Commission for UNESCO, Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere and The United Nations Association of Norway. Stakeholders, managers and researchers from the Nordhordland region and Bergen were gathered to discuss and share ideas about how Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere can become a role model for sustainable development.
By using the recently designated Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere as a case study for sustainable development, the workshop addressed issues related to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. The session was opened with interesting and inspiring talks given by three main speakers: Tora Aasland - Head of the Norwegian National Commission for UNESCO, Lene Conradi - Mayor in Asker municipality, and Sara Sekkingstad - Mayor in the newly merged Alver municipality. The speakers addressed sustainable development practice in the context of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how this can affect municipal planning policy, and how Nordhordland as a region can benefit from the status as a UNESCO Biosphere.
Tora Aasland, Head of the Norwegian National Commission for UNESCO, welcomed the workshop participants with an opening talk.
Representatives from decision makers, managers, aquaculture, agriculture and the energy sector, as well as researchers and students, were invited to discuss challenges and possible solutions associated with environmentally, socially and economically sustainable development in western Norway - focusing on local sustainability in the Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere. People were asked to identify the sustainable future they want, what existing initiatives that support a sustainable future, and which “seeds” we can plant and action we can take today to achieve our sustainability goals. The workshop participants were divided into three different topics: The municipalities' role in ensuring sustainable development, sustainable ocean and sustainable land. The discussions will be summarized in a popular science article that will be published in national media.
Ideas for a sustainable development of Nordhordland were shared among the participants and written on post-its so they could be summarized in a report later.