UNESCO Chair: Sustainable heritage and environmental management

Kick off meeting for RCN project ACTIONABLE

October 16-17, 2023, partners of the new NFR funded project ACTIONABLE all met in person in Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere. The project is led by Dr. Alicia D. Barraclough, researcher under the UiB UNESCO Chair for Sustainable Heritage and Environmental Management.

People standing outside in a huddle, talking
Some of the meeting attendees during guided tour in Mjøsvågen, Osterøy.
Maureen Reed
Large, white house at night time. Leafy trees in the foreground.
The meeting venue, Fjordslottet hotell at Osterøy
Ørjan Arntzen
Group of people sitting around a table, talking and taking notes.
Meeting discussions
Cintia Lara
Group of people listening to woman talking, while enjoying the view of a fjord and heathlands
Field trip to The Heatland Center at Lygra, guided by Siri Haugum (to the left)
Silje Östman

Main content

As the ACTIONABLE project aims to translate the big global sustainability agendas to local coastal realities, with a special focus on UNESCO Biospheres, it was only fitting for this meeting to take place on the picturesque island Osterøy, in Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere. Partner’s from sápmi and Finnmark (SAMAS), Lofoten (LoVe UTK) and Canada (University of Saskatchewan and Vancouver Island University) made the trip to Osterøy for the event, and met with Bergen and Nordhordland representatives from the University of Bergen, Nordhordland Biosphere, SINTEF and Bergen Ateliergruppe to get to know each other and get inspired.

The two days of meetings were mostly analogue, and the different partners had plenty of time and opportunity to connect and develop research ideas and initiate the  collaboration. ACTIONABLE has partners from academia, NGOs and art, and in such a diverse group it is important to understand each other’s backgrounds and ways of working in order to have fruitful collaborations. After getting to know each other and everyone’s place in and ambitions for the project during the first day, the second day of the meeting was spent digging into the project’s work packages, and further developing research ideas between different partners.

There was of course also time for the meeting participants to see some more of Osterøy, with a visit to the traditional knitwear factory Nordlender, followed by a guided tour of traditional buildings, a wooden shoe workshop and the local community of Hosanger in Mjøsvågen. Those lucky enough to stay an extra day also got an extended tour of Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere, with a guided tour at the Heathland Centre on the Lygra island, and a taste of traditional Norwegian soup with meat from the old norse sheep.

As research plans and work packages have become clearer and more focused after the ACTIONABLE kick off, the partners are ready to take on the tasks of driving this project forward. There will already be a conference and some initial interviews in Kautokeino with the partners from SAMAS the week following the project.

Ready, set, action!