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.


11 New UNESCO Biosphere Reserves

UNESCO recently welcomed 11 new areas into the family of Biosphere Reserves. Two of the countries, Belgium and Gambia, are recieving their first ever BR designations. The other nine countries recieving new biosphere designations are Colombia, Dominican Republic, Italy, Mongolia, the Netherlands, the...


The Biosphere Day 2024

For the second time, Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere hosted the now annual Biosphere Day 30 May 2024. This years’ theme was Green transitions: Energy, land-use pressure and nature in Nordhordland. Politicians, municipal employees, researchers, and businesspeople all attended to discuss the future...

Doctoral ceremony

Honorary Doctorate for Anne Larigauderie (IPBES)

“When you give nature a chance, a difficult situation can quickly be reversed. However, in order to do that, decision-makers must have the knowledge they need to take the right measures” - Anne Larigauderie

Seeds of Good Anthropocenes
Group of women standing in front of building with a sign saying Austrheim high school.

High school students' visions for Nordhordland in 2054

This spring, the UNESCO Chair group has been working with collecting positive future visions for sustainable nature, land-use and cultural landscapes. Most recently, workshops were held with students from two different high schools in Nordhordland biosphere reserve.

Ten people standing on a height in front of a cairn. The background shows a fjord landscape, with distant mountains on the horizon

Partner meeting in Nordhordland

As the CULTIVATE project has entered its final year, it was time for the project's third in-person meeting. After visiting the biosphere reserves Trebon Basin and West-Estonian Archipelago previous years, members of the UNESCO Chair Group and the biosphere coordinators from Nordhordland UNESCO...

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