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Green light for SDG Action

The University of Bergen is on track with the deliverables promised in SDG Action 28818, which has now been updated to include further deliverables towards the 2030 Agenda.

Former Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment and now ocean diplomat Mr. Helge Vidarsen speaking at the Ocean Sustainability  Bergen Conference in October 2019.
ON TRACK: The University of Bergen registered its SDG Bergen initiative as an SDG Action in January 2019 and is on track. The photo is from the Ocean Sustainability Bergen Conference 2019, one of several SDG Action deliverables, with Norwegian ocean diplomat Vidar Helgesen speaking.
Photo:
Eivind Senneset for University of Bergen

In January 2020 the University of Bergen (UiB) registered its SDG Bergen initiative as an SDG Action on the UN’s HESI platform. This builds on two previous voluntary commitments made towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, Life below water, at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference. Since launching this SDG action three of the four deliverables have been delivered on time and the fourth is on schedule. SDG Bergen is registered as #SDGAction28818.

Providing global science advice

In March 2020 the University of Bergen reported on SDG Action 28818. SDG Bergen Science Advice (SDG BSA) and the Ocean Sustainability Bergen (OSB) virtual centre spearhead the university’s global efforts in science advice and science diplomacy and administer the SDG Action.

“We are delighted to be able to deliver on our promises to engage critically with the 2030 Agenda,” says Professor Edvard Hviding, who is also the Scientific Director of SDG BSA and part of the OSB group, “and I would like to mention that in addition to the SDG Action deliverables the university has also provided science advice through organizing, with state parties and diplomatic missions, a series of high-level side events at conferences such as COP25, HLPF 2019, and Our Ocean 2019.”

The key is reaching policy-makers

Both SDG BSA and OSB have built rapport with the UN system and policy-makers both in Norway and internationally through several side events at key conferences and by providing science-based knowledge in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

“For us as an academic institution the key to SDG Action success has been to create arenas and communication channels for reaching policy-makers with peer-reviewed research,” says Hviding.

Next steps for SDG Action

According to Hviding a lot of the measures implemented have become annual events and courses.

“This ranges from the annual national SDG Conference Bergen to the launch of the first three of several SDG-oriented courses, on SDGs 13,14 and 15 respectively, at the University of Bergen,” says Hviding adding that all of these will be followed up and strengthened in the years to come and have now been added as new SDG Action deliverables.

The university is also in the process of building a global team of world-leading ocean-oriented partner universities on SDG14, as part of a leadership role given to the University of Bergen by the UNESCO-affiliated International Association of Universities (IAU). In October 2018 the University of Bergen was also appointed Hub institution for SDG14 by United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI).

Launching SDG-oriented policy briefs

One of the upcoming initiatives is the SDG Bergen Policy Briefs series.

“These are SDG-specific policy briefs mainly aimed at decision-makers to achieve impact for peer-reviewed research,” says Edvard Hviding, “and we are looking forward to use these as part of our effort to provide science-based knowledge to the 2030 Agenda.”

The SDG Bergen Policy Briefs were first presented in a special workshop during the 2020 SDG Conference Bergen.