Wyss Foundation supports the University of Bern

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Peter Messerli. Picture: Courtesy of Peter Messerli.

Peter Messerli. Picture: Courtesy of Peter Messerli.

The Wyss Foundation announced yesterday that it will begin a global conservation campaign. On a related note, they also announced that they will be working on a year-long pilot project in Kenya and Peru, together with the University of Bern. This should highlight possibilities of how sustainable development for people and the environment can be put into practice in the future.

With two million Francs in funding, the University of Bern will carry out two regional practically-oriented research projects in Kenya and Peru. In both regions, researchers from the University of Bern will collaborate with representatives of local authorities and conservation organizations, local researchers and the local population. In the course of the project, innovative approaches for the land use and strategies for biodiversity conservation will be developed and later made available internationally.

Recognition for using concrete measures

The Faculty of Science at the University of Bern is internationally renowned in the research areas of climate changes, sustainable use of resources and biodiversity. Under the joint leadership of Markus Fischer (Institute of Plant Sciences), Peter Messerli (Centre for Development and Environment) and Thomas Stocker (Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research), the findings from both test regions should show how measures adapted for sustainable development can be put into place in other parts of the world too. Special attention will be paid to the sustainable land use and to ecosystem services in the face of climate change and globalization.

Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

CDE is the University of Bern’s center of excellence for sustainable development. As one of the strategic centers of the University of Bern, it is mandated with mainstreaming sustainable development throughout the university's research and teaching activities. In line with the global sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda, CDE develops solutions and initiates transformation processes aimed at distributing the benefits and risks of globalization more fairly, conserving natural resources, and promoting well-being in the world. CDE offers programs in sustainable development and employs around 100 people from 17 disciplines. It is active in five regions of the Global South, as well as in Switzerland and Europe.

Oeschger Centre for Climate Research (OCCR)

The Oeschger Centre is the University of Bern's center of excellence for climate research. It was founded in summer 2007 and bears the name of Hans Oeschger (1927-1998), a pioneer of modern climate research who worked in Bern. The Oeschger Centre brings together researchers from nine institutes and four faculties and is at the forefront of disciplinary and interdisciplinary research. Only through cooperation between the natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, economics and law can a way be found to tackle global climate change on a wide range of fronts: regionally anchored and globally networked.

Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

The IPS investigates the whole spectrum of plant diversity, from molecules, cells and organs to entire individuals, populations, biocoenoses and ecosystems. This raises questions in genetic, physiological and ecological basic research, and leads to the handling of a multitude of related topics. Among other things, the IPS is looking at why - when most species tend to remain stable - certain native species are becoming increasingly rare and various exotic species are spreading. The IPS is also investigating the evolution and adaptation of plants to global environmental changes and the interactions of plants with pollinators and herbivores.