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Norway-Pacific Joint Chair of Oceans and Climate Change
by University of Bergen and The University of the South Pacific (Academic institution)
With this Commitment. the University of Bergen and the University of the South Pacific join forces across a Norway-Pacific axis to focus jointly on an ambitious research and training programme on ocean science and climate change. The University of Bergen (UiB) of Norway and the fully regional, 12-nation University of the South Pacific (USP) share a strong commitment to advance marine science, climate change research and Pacific studies, and have a long record of working together in these fields, through several large-scale research and education programmes funded by the European Union, the Research Council of Norway, and the two universities, and through the exchange of researchers and students.

To this end a bilateral MoU covers all aspects of partnerships and cooperation. To mark the joint participation of both universities in the Ocean Conference and the processes leading up to the conference and envisaged as leading on from it, the UiB and the USP will jointly fund a high-profile Chair in Oceans and Climate Change, to be hosted at the USP main campus in Suva, Fiji. The Chair is endowed from both universities with 3-year PhD fellowships for SDG14 research, and with these and other additional in-kind resources will deliver scientific modelling, course development, the transfer of marine science and technology, and regional policy advice focused on the Targets and Indicators of SDG14 and with an added attention to the ocean-climate nexus in the context of the UNFCCC.

Under the framework of the Norway-Pacific Chair in Oceans and Climate Change, the large-scale marine science and climate research facilities of the UiB will work closely together with their counterparts of the USP and build expertise across all the 12 Pacific member countries of the USP. Launching this joint effort as a Voluntary Commitment at the UN Ocean Conference is of particular significance, as the conference brings together a unique convergence of ocean and climate which fits extremely well with the totality of own strategy, work and expertise by the two universities in these fields. Moreover, the marine sciences both at UiB and USP share common interests in food from the ocean, given that Norway is also a seafood-oriented country and the Pacific countries generally have the world's highest rates of seafood consumption. The joint Chair will be multidisciplinary in orientation and dedicated also to the multiple connections of SDG14 to other SDGs.

The Commitment may be extended in duration and/or continued in the form of new partnerships in research, training and higher education, as decided jointly by the two universities.
Progress reports
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Large Marine Ecosystem approach
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
Type of commitment
  • Coastal carbon sinks/blue carbon
  • CO2 emission reductions (energy efficiency, renewable energy, etc.)
  • Adaptation to more acidic ocean conditions
  • Scientific research and cooperation to address ocean acidification knowledge gaps
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable fisheries
  • Economic benefits from sustainable transport
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Transfer marine technology
  • Actions that support SIDS and LDCs
December 2019
Development of joint channels for policy impact
December 2020
UIB to deliver scientific baseline data and modelling of ocean acidification and sea level rise in the Pacific region
December 2020
Development of joint teaching modules
January 2022
UIB to offer training workshops at USP in adaptation of the Norwegian Earth System Model (NorESM) for ocean-atmosphere interactions in the Pacific.
In-kind contribution
4-year programme of research cooperation, capacity building, high level policy advice, and development of models and baseline data
Staff / Technical expertise
Full-time professor in position as Chair of Oceans and Climate Change at the University of the South Pacific
Staff / Technical expertise
One PhD research fellowship in SDG14 at the University of Bergen
Staff / Technical expertise
One PhD research fellowship in SDG14 at the University of the South Pacific
Basic information
Time-frame: 2018 06 - 2022 06
University of Bergen (academic institution) and The University of the South Pacific (academic institution)
Ocean Basins
  • South Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Marshall Islands
Solomon Islands
Other beneficaries
Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Pacific regional policy and management organisations; the research community, higher education in Oceania
Contact information
Amund Maage, Director of Marine Science, amund.mage@uib.no, +47 95025505
Bergen, Norway
Other SDGs
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