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.

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...

Stortingsmelding 2024
View over mountainous coastal landscape with a lot of houses, buildings, roads and other infrastructure.

Natur og klima - innspill til regjeringen

Klima- og miljødepartementet leder arbeidet med to stortingsmeldinger som skal legges fra ila. 2024; en om naturmangfold for å følge opp den internasjonale naturavtalen, og en om klima fram mot 2035 på veien mot lavutslippssamfunnet i 2050. UNESCO Chair Inger Måren har bidratt med innspill til...

Screenshot of an online meeting. A screen is shared, showing a digital board with colourful post-it notes scattered across it. In the top right corner three female facillitators are present in three squares on top of eachother.

Day Zero: Future Visions For Nature Workshop

February 7th the Centre for Sustainable Area Management (CeSAM) and the UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Heritage and Environmental Management hosted a student work shop during Day Zero of the 2024 Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDG) Conference.

People-nature relationships
Landscape with a waterbody in front, surrounded by thick, dark green forest on the right. Behind  the forest peaks mist-covered mountains. Half a rainbow is visible across the sky, framing the mountain tops.

Intergenerational dialogue toward the Sustainable Development Goals in Hakusan Biosphere Reserve, Japan

Summer of 2022, then UNESCO Chair MSc student Erika Scheibe went on a study trip to UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Hakusan in Japan. Here, international and Japanese students met to learn and teach each other about ecology, culture and tradition in the Biosphere Reserve.

Insircled yellow post-it note with the year 2034 underlined. Other yellow and pink post-it notes and differently coloured markers surround the main note.

Positive future visions for Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere

January 25, the CULTIVATE project held a Seeds of Good Anthropocenes workshop in Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The goal was to envision positive, more sustainable futures for cultural heritage and cultural landscapes in the Nordhordland region.

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.