UNESCO Chair: Sustainable heritage and environmental management
UNESCO Chair Renwal

Renewal of The UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Heritage and Environmental Management

UiB's UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Heritage and Environmental Management - Nature and Culture was recently up for renewal, and four new years were granted on September 18. Professor Inger Elisabeth Måren (Department of Biological Sciences) continues as the chair holder.

Woman wearing a coat and scarf, smiling in front of large unesco sign. Picture marked with UNESCO chair logo.

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The UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme is a UNESCO programme ment to mobilize expertise of higher education and research institutions to address the interdependent challenges of today’s increasingly complex world. In 2015, UiB was designated the UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Heritage and Environmental Management - Nature and Culture, and professor Inger Elisabeth Måren has held the chair since 2017.

Prof. Måren is originally a plant ecologist, but has since her PhD branched out into more socio-ecological perspectives. Through her position as the UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Heritage and Environmental Management, her scientific focus lies on the dynamics in coupled human and natural systems, including sustainable development, natural resource management, agro-biodiversity, sustainable land use, ecosystem services, agroecology, and sustainable food systems.

Since prof. Måren first received the UNESCO Chair, she has played a key part in the establishment of Norway's first (and currently only) UNESCO Biosphere Reserve - Nordhordland, and started a number of projects focusing on UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme, including international EU project CULTIVATE, the RCN projects TRADMOD and BIOSPHERE, and the EEA project EEA Grants Portugal, in addition to numerous Peder Sather projects in collaboration with UC Berkeley. She has also developed the courses SDG110: Perspectives on Sustainable Development and SDG215: UN Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on land, which she also teaches. Today, the Department of Biological Sciences has a well-established research unit under the UNESCO Chair, currently consisting of three Postdocs, two PhDs, and one full-time technician, in addition to several MSc students. The chair is also strongly connected to the Centre of Sustainable Area Management (CeSAM), which she is part of leading.

Prof. Måren and her team are very pleased with the renewal of the chair, and excited to keep working under UNESCO's UNITWIN programme - especially as two new, cross-disciplinary projects led by Postdoc Alicia Barraclough (ACTIONABLE and BECOME) are starting up this this autumn, expanding the group even further.

Group of seven people standing outside, smiling. Snow-covered mountain in background.

The UNESCO Chair group at the Department of Biological Sciences.

Dagmar Egelkraut