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UNESCO Chair: Sustainable heritage and environmental management

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Portrait of Inger Måren standing besides the UNESCO nameplate

Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UN 2015)

The UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Heritage and Environmental Management - Nature and Culture - shall promote an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation on sustainable heritage and environmental management, with a special focus on Norway's very first Biosphere Area - Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere - under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere programme (MAB).

Our Chair is held by Dr. Inger Elisabeth Måren. She focuses on the dynamics in coupled human and natural systems, so-called social-ecological systems, including themes like sustainable resource management, sustainable land use, ecosystem services, agroecology, and sustainable food systems. She works with colleagues across the social and natural sciences to elucidate links between anthropogenic activities and the environment, in Europe, Asia, North-America and Africa. In particular, she researches pertinent aspects of sustainable development in the context of SDG15 - Life on Land - where sustainable land use is a central theme. Måren also develops and teaches several of the sustainable development related courses at the University of Bergen (e.g., SDG110, SDG215SDG214, SDG207 and SDG607) and she is member of the Sustainability Collegium at UiB as well as the Norwegian UNESCO Commission.

Sustainability research
Workshop participants

Young people are important stewards in conservation and development

Global social and environmental issues have recently seen a surge of youth involvement; a development that could be explained by the fact that the youth of today will grow old in the world we are creating now. This new study, published in Global Environmental Change led by Alicia Donnellan...

Interdisciplinary collaboration
A group photo of seven rows of people

Associate researchers

The UNESCO Chair is supported by four associate researchers and a postdoc, representing different disciplines. All of them focus their work on aspects of sustainable development and have extensive experience on collaborating accross disciplines.

Sustainability debate
Photo of UNESCO chair UiB - Inger Måren

Conservation and restoration of nature will aid in achieving all other SDGs

In an article for Spire, Inger Måren and Vigdis Vandvik explain why we need nature like never before to achieve the UN's sustainable development goals.

French filmmakers in Nordhordland

The Energy Observer's film about the Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere

The world's first energy autonomous vessel, the Energy Observer, visited the Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere. The crew on the hydorgen generating and -powered marine vessel documented the Biosphere with footage of people and places. With narrative contributions from the UiB UNESCO Chair, Inger...

Background for the UNESCO Chair at UiB

The University of Bergen was awarded a UNESCO Chair entitled Sustainable Heritage and Environmental Management - Nature and Culture, in 2015. The UNESCO Chair is part of UNESCO's international network UNITWIN included in the UNESCO/UNITWIN Chairs programme, which includes close to 800 Chairs at 700 institutions in 116 countries, covering universities across the world and a wide range of topics.

Through this network, higher education and research institutions all over the globe pool their resources, both human and material, to address pressing challenges and contribute to the development of their societies. In areas lacking expertise, chairs and networks also contribute to strengthening North-South-South cooperation.

The application to the UNESCO Commission for our UNESCO Chair was prepared based on the experiences of several major interdisciplinary projects carried out at UiB and the preparatory work on the first UNESCO Biosphere Area in Norway - Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere. The application was designed with inspiration from Laval University in Quebec, Canada, which has had a UNESCO Chair for a number of years, and the framework of the Chair was presented at the International UNESCO Conference held in Bergen in 2014. In Norway, we received our very first UNESCO Chair for Education on Sustainable Lifestyles, held by Victoria Thoresen, at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences in 2014.

UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere programme (MAB) is central to the work of the UNESCO Chair at UiB. The mission of the MAB programme is to help the Member States achieve the sustainable development goals (Agenda 2030) by actively using the biosphere areas as 'Science for Sustainability Support Sites' - biosphere areas being model areas for sustainable development. Norway was appointed its very first biosphere area on June 19th 2019 - Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere

The UNESCO and uniTwin logo made up of the acronyms letters with the outline of a porch and lines of latitude and longitude

The UNESCO-UiB contract outlines the framework and responsibilities of the UNESCO Chair at UiB.