Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere
UNESCO's biosphere programme "Man and the Biosphere" (MAB) is a central part of the UNESCO Chair's work at UiB. The MAB programme was created in 1971 and currently consists of 702 biosphere areas in 124 countries, with a total population of 225 million people. The programme focuses on the sustainable use of natural and social resources and the future for man and the community in interaction with this use. Consequently, a biosphere area is a model area for sustainable development. The mission of the MAB programme is to help the UN's member states to achieve the sustainable development goals (Agenda 2030) by using the biosphere areas as 'Science for Sustainability Support Sites'
The Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere is representative not only of western Norway but Norway as a whole. The Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere will help Norway achieve its commitments to the UN's Agenda 2030. Focal points are:
- Nature: Western Norway supports a heterogenous landscape, stretching from the outer coast through fjords to high mountains, marked by sharp climatic and ecological gradients
- Water: The west-coast recieves lots of percipitation! Norway is consequently the 6th largest producer of hydropower in the world and the largest in Europe
- Aquaculture & fisheries: Large-scale aquaculture as well as resources of pelagic fish stocks makes Norway the largest ocean-farming actor in Europe
- Petroleum: Petoleum and petroleum-related industries shape modern Norway and the oil refinery at Mongstad is situated in the middle of the biosphere area
- Tourism: The Bergen region, incuding Nordhordland, is an attractive tourist destination, as it offers both cultural and natural attractions
How do we achieve Agenda 2030 using biosphere areas?
- Identify and assess the changes in the biosphere resulting from human and natural activities and the effects of these changes on humans and the environment
- Study and compare the dynamic interrelationships between natural/near-natural ecosystems and socio-economic processes
- Ensure basic human welfare and a livable environment in the context of rapid urbanisation and energy consumption as drivers of environmental change
- Promote the exchange and transfer of knowledge on environmental problems and solutions, and to foster environmental education for sustainable development