Preservation of the environment

Conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources are greatest challenges that societies face nowadays. This is of special concern for most African countries, as endemic poverty, low education rates and lack of technological capacity affect the success of strategies toward sustainable development and management of natural resources and heritage.

Complying with its internationalization strategy, CIBIO-InBIO (Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, InBIO Associated Laboratory), headquartered in the University of Porto, established a collaborative Network of TwinLabs in Southern Africa, including African Portuguese-speaking countries (Angola and Mozambique) and other neighbouring countries of official English language (Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa), with the aim of jointly develop research, advanced training and capacity building.
Acting as an integrated platform of research, training and education the main specific objectives of the UNESCO Chair Life on Land are to: 

  • reinforce the human potential of the involved institutions by developing and implementing teaching, training and research programmes in the fields of biodiversity management and conservation;
  • carry out joint research projects and encourage international cooperation among institutions;
  • promote sustainable use and management of natural resources; 
  • raise public awareness for the importance of biodiversity conservation and preservation of the outstanding universal value of World Heritage natural sites.

Aligned with the efforts to respond to the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (United Nations), and assuming the specificity of promoting the collaboration between several Southern African countries, the Unesco Chair Life on Land can constitute an efficient tool to ensure the preservation of the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources, a pressing need in face of the increasing degradation of the ecosystems in Africa.