UNESCO Chair Life on Land

Complying with its institutional internationalization strategy, based on the development and expansion of the current scheme of research collaborations through sustainable and innovative initiatives, CIBIO-InBIO has established a network of TwinLabs abroad, with emphasis on Portuguese-speaking African countries, with the aim of jointly develop research, advanced training and capacity building.

The first TwinLab, CEBEA – CIBIO, was created in October 2012, in Angola, at the Higher Institute of Education Sciences (ISCED) of Lubango (Huíla). In March 2015 was formalized the Twinlab Mozambique, resulting from a collaboration process between CIBIO-InBIO and the Mozambican Chókwè Health Research and Trainning Centre (CITSC). During 2015, a Twinlab in South Africa, hosted by the University of Johannesburg (UJ), was established, and, in this sequence, the inauguration ceremony of the Twinlab CIBIO – University of Cabo Verde (Uni-CV) was held in November 2016. Still in 2016 and, then, in 2017, collaborative protocols were also signed for the implementation of TwinLabs in Namibia (University of Namibia – UNAM) and in Zimbabwe (University of Zimbabwe – UZ), and during 2019 a new institution was integrated in the TwinLab of Angola: the University Mandume ya Ndemufayo. Preparatory work is either under way for the implementation, among others, of new TwinLabs in São Tomé e Príncipe and in Botswana, and for the inclusion of new partners in the TwinLabs of Angola and of Zimbabwe.

In November 2017, the UNESCO Chair Life on Land was awarded to the University of Porto, with the specific aim of fostering schemes of interaction between the TwinLabs, namely through coordination actions for the reinforcement of scientific and technological competences, advanced training of human resources and knowledge transfer.

The UNESCO Chair Life on Land has also the purpose of promoting the linkage between science and society in the partner countries through initiatives to raise awareness for the urgent importance of preserving the biodiversity and natural heritage in Africa, by mobilizing the ordinary citizen to carry out practical actions at this level.

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 Portuguese-speaking and of official English language African countries, the programme can constitute an efficient tool to ensure the preservation of the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources, a pressing need in view of the increasing degradation of the ecosystems in Africa, continent in which the challenges and problems that constrain biodiversity conservation efforts are significantly frequent.

October 2012: signature, in Lubango (Angola), of the first TwinLab protocol CEBEA (ISCED-   Huíla) – CIBIO (U. Porto). Nuno Ferrand de Almeida (CIBIO) | Raimundo Amizalak (ISCED) | Fernanda Lages (ISCED)