Ocean Sustainability Bergen


Ocean Sustainability Bergen

Ocean Sustainability Bergen is a virtual centre at the University of Bergen (UiB), working with partner institutions worldwide in ocean science and education. The aim is to engage with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDSs) and the centre is part of the university's strategic initiative SDG Bergen, which presents scientific advice to governments and international bodies to aid them in decision-making processes.

Ocean Sustainability Bergen takes care of day to day activities in relation to UiB's status as the Hub for SDG 14: Life below water as appointed by the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) and is also the SDG 14 representative in the International Association of Universities (IAU) SDG Cluster.

Our three main areas of interest are:

Professor Sigrid Schütz (left) speaking in a panel discussion during the inaugural Ocean Sustainability Bergen Conference in October 2019.

Experts providing advice to Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In a meeting on biological diversity on the high seas, scientists and other actors gave valuable advice to representatives from Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs before final negotiations on regulation of natural resources outside of national jurisdiction.

Scientific Director Lise Øvreås from Ocean Sustainability Bergen and Marine Director Nils Gunnar Kvamstø at the University of Bergen, photographed in January 2020.

Urging political leaders into action

Four SDG14 targets are maturing in 2020 and with the University of Bergen's leadership in ocean science and sustainability, the university will take these targets to decision-makers over the course of the upcoming year.

Ambassador Peter Thomson speaks at his public lecture on 15 October 2019 after being awarded an honorary doctorate at the University of Bergen. He focussed on the urgent need for ocean action to rescue the planet.

Making tough decisions for the ocean

“A new deal for nature is on everyone's lips,” said Ambassador Peter Thomson in his public lecture after becoming an honorary doctor at the University of Bergen.

Director Lise Øvreås from Ocean Sustainability Bergen flanked by her University of Bergen colleagues Karin Pittman (left) and Anders Goksøyr during the first meeting of the IAU SDG14 Team.

First meeting for ocean sustainability team

In November 2018 the University of Bergen was officially announced as the leader of the SDG14 Cluster for the International Association of Universities (IAU). In November 2019 the IAU SDG14 Team met for the first time – at least virtually.

Norway's Special Representative for the Ocean, Mr. Vidar Helgesen, gave an impassioned speech for the ocean and the blue economy when he gave the first Annual Ocean Sustainability Bergen Lecture on 21 October 2019.

Ocean conference with a focus on science-policy nexus

More than 150 scientists, students and ocean enthusiasts gathered in the University Aula for the inaugural Ocean Sustainability Bergen Conference and speeches on current research and inspirational speeches on a sustainable ocean.

Photo of the United Nations building in New York, with clouds and the sun reflecting. Used to illustrate article about science diplomacy.

Between 5 and 9 June 2017, the University of Bergen participated at the United Nations Ocean Conference in New York. Among the university's activities at the conference were the presentation of voluntary commitments with partner institutions in South Africa and the Pacific.