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SDG Bergen

About SDG Bergen

SDG Bergen is a strategic initiative by the University of Bergen to engage with the Sustainable Development Goals.

The University of Bergen (UiB) is one of Norway's leading comprehensive research universities. UiB has always been globally oriented, with long-standing research collaboration throughout the world.

Recognising the key significance of the 2030 Agenda, in 2017 UiB launched a university-wide strategic initiative called SDG Bergen to critically engage with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), spearheaded by the university's participation in the United Nations Ocean Conference and entering into several voluntary commitments with partner institutions.

As the first Norwegian university to institutionalise the 2030 Agenda, UiB organised the inaugural, high-level SDG Conference Bergen in February 2018, on behalf of the university sector in Norway and in cooperation with Norway's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education and Research.

The 2018 SDG Conference Bergen was the first of its kind worldwide, and brought together more than 300 researchers, educators, politicians, government and UN officials, civil society, and industry representatives to discuss how universities can contribute on the science-policy nexus required for the goals of the 2030 Agenda. The conference laid the foundation for Norwegian universities to engage their researchers in innovative channels for science diplomacy.

The SDG Conference Bergen is an annual event every February since 2018. Starting in 2019, a preconference Day Zero was introduced with workshops, seminars and other events leading up to the main conference, providing a more informal space for SDG-oriented stakeholders from inside and outside academia.

SDG Bergen was initiated by the UiB Rector and his team. The scientific steering group for SDG Bergen is headed by UiB's Vice-Rector for Global Relations, Professor Annelin Eriksen. SDG Bergen reports directly to the leadership and the university board.

A number of activities on sustainability and the science-policy interface are collected under the SDG Bergen initiative. The prime SDG Bergen activities are:

  • The SDG Bergen Science Advice (SDG BSA) has been established to address and develop the science-policy interface. SDG BSA's Scientific Director is Professor Edvard Hviding.
  • Ocean Sustainability Bergen (OSB) is a virtual centre working in ocean science and education. OSB's Scientific Director is Professor Lise Øvreås.
  • The SDG Conference Bergen is the annual national conference for the university sector to engage critically with the SDGs. Scientific Director for the 2021 conference is Professor Bjørn Enge Bertelsen, who leads a national programme committee with members from the leading universities in Norway.

Building on the position as Norway's premier SDG-oriented university, UiB has established leadership through the National Committee for the 2030 Agenda (SDG Norway) consisting of scientists from Norway's main research universities, Universities Norway, a student representative and advisers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education and Research.

Through the report Utdanning 2030 (Education 2030), the university has made a thorough review of its education with the aim to engage students critically with the 2030 Agenda. Among the proposals in the report is a new SDG Master's degree.

In addition there are a number of other SDG-oriented initiatives and activities at the university, some of which are listed here.

Building on the SDG Bergen initiative, UiB has pledged to become carbon-neutral by 2030.