Global News

What constitutes quality of life? What does a rural, mountain area like the Entlebuch offer in terms of quality of life today and in the future? How can quality of life be provided sustainably? These and similar questions were addressed in a research project conducted by the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern, and are now shown in an interactive exhibition at the UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch. The exhibition was designed participatively, and offers the opportunity for the visitor to reflect on their own quality of life and to mirror their findings with scientific results. It is, in the view of the authors, an important topic with regional up to global relevance.

How satisfied are the people of Entlebuch and of comparable regions with their lives, and how sustainable is the provision of this quality of life? These basic questions were the impetus for a research project that the CDE launched together with the UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch and other partners in 2017. The research project investigated these questions with qualitative and quantitative approaches and identified 'sustainable quality of life' as a multi-layered concept that takes into account nine aspects that add up to quality of life: Social relations and equality, nature and landscape, employment and income, participation and belonging, housing, mobility, health and safety, education and knowledge. These aspects are evaluated in terms of their social, economic, and environmental impact. Further, sustainable quality of life puts emphasis on inter- and intra-generational equity.

Hügellandschaft Biosphäre EntlebuchThe 479 registered associations in the Entlebuch provide a rich range of leisure and cultural activities and at the same time create a close network of social contacts. According to the research results, the latter are the most important component for a high quality of life. © UNESCO Biosphäre Entlebuch

Given that the research topic is relevant to all people, the UNESCO Biosphäre Entlebuch decided to develop an exhibition in parallel to the research project, building on the results obtained. It was designed to transfer important knowledge stemming from the research, to promote the exchange between research and local actors and, even more importantly, to make people think about their own quality of life and the sustainability of their levels of quality of life. In order to do so, the most important results were made tangible by means of portraits: six protagonists of the Entlebuch with different backgrounds tell the visitors what quality of life means to them and what the region offers to obtain a high quality of life. This is the starting point for the visitor's own reflections that are compared with the research results. The exhibition encourages people to think for themselves by confronting them with different views, results, and statements that are all directly related to their own lives. And it encourages people to get involved by expressing their wishes in the exhibition and then making these wishes available to local decision-makers, such as the Biosphere Reserve management and municipalities. As a form of knowledge transfer, the exhibition intends to promote the participation of the population in the further development of the scientific results and to contribute to raising public awareness on regional sustainable development.

The exhibition is supplemented by an accompanying programme that delves into various thematic aspects and encourages discussion. Individual elements of this will later be integrated into the exhibition. In this way, the entire exhibition project itself is to be made sustainable: thanks to the participatory approach, the UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch hopes to anchor the discussion about a sustainable provision of quality of life in the region and beyond. In the long term these topics are planned to be increasingly taken up in projects within the region.


Listen: Wie Gehen Hohe Lebensqualität und Nachhaltigkeit Zusammen?

Interview mit Florian Knaus, Scientific Coordinator, UNESCO Biosphäre Entlebuch [interview in German]


More information

WE LOVE ÄNTLIBUECH can be found at Entlebucherhaus, Schüpfheim; www.entlebucherhaus.ch.
Duration: 30 September 2021 – 20 March 2022.
Opening hours: Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, 14:00-18:00.

Further information on the exhibition and the accompanying programme: www.biosphaere.ch/ausstellung

Further information on the research projects and the obtained results: https://www.cde.unibe.ch/lebensquali_paerke


Contact

For further information on the exhibition you may contact Florian Knaus, scientific coordinator of the UNESCO Biosphäre Entlebuch: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; +41 41 485 88 59

For further information on the research project you may contact Thea Wiesli, research associate at the Centre for Sustainable Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; +41 78 850 63 00


Cover image: Beautiful landscapes play an important role in providing a high quality of life by adding to multiple aspects in parallel: they provide aesthetic enjoyment and offer optimal conditions for recreation, exercise and living, they strengthen identification with the region and create a feeling of home. © UNESCO Biosphäre Entlebuch

The Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Project of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) is launching an open call for nominations to its Scientific Steering Group (SSG) for the period 2022-2025.

Deadline 31 October 2021.

The Copernicus Gesellschaft e.V., the exclusive partner of Copernicus Meetings & Publications, solicits nominations of appropriate candidates from the international geo- and space sciences community. 

Candidate nominations should be submitted by 15 November.

On 1 October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  circulated  the final draft of the Summary for Policymakers of the Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) to governments for their review and comment.

This is one of the final stages of report preparation before the plenary approval of this contribution which assesses the impacts of climate change and how humanity and ecosystems are both vulnerable and adapting to it.

The Millennium Technology Prize will be awarded for the next time on 25 October 2022. 

The Millennium Technology Prize is awarded for groundbreaking technological innovations that benefit millions of people around the world. Nominations are welcomed from organizations worldwide and from all fields except military technology. 

Deadline for nominations is 31 October 2021.

In a large-scale study conducted on Mount Kilimanjaro and published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, researchers were able to demonstrate that species richness improves the performance of ecosystems, while the species turnover along the elevational gradient plays a minor role.

Microorganisms, plants, and animals accomplish great feats every day. For example, by decomposing material, producing plant biomass, or pollinating flowers, they keep nature 'up and running," thereby securing the livelihood of humans. Numerous studies have shown that a high biodiversity can have a positive impact on these as well as on other ecosystem functions.

As the world’s glaciers disappear, one group of scientists is seeking to understand their impact on humans before they are gone. By applying the ecosystem services framework to glaciers, the authors of an August 2021 paper published in Ecosystem Services hope to drive home the important role that glaciers play for humans. 

Ecosystems services is a framework that examines the many ways that humans benefit from nature. Such services are well defined for many of the planet’s ecosystems, like forests and grasslands, but until now a comprehensive assessment applying the framework to glaciers had not been completed. “The reason we wanted to focus on glaciers is that we recognize that we benefit from glaciers in many ways.” Lead author David Cook, a postdoc in the Environment and Natural Resources Program at University of Iceland said in an interview with GlacierHub. “The ecosystem services perspective is quite useful in that regard.”

If the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be achieved by the 2030 target, the risks posed by human-induced climate change must be understood and addressed, says new World Meteorological Organization report.

The World Meteorological Organization has published a new report on Climate Indicators and Sustainable Development: Demonstrating the InterconnectionsIts release coincides with the United Nations General Assembly annual session and the opening on 22 September of the SDG Action Zone, which is dedicated to accelerating action on the SDGs.

Newsletter subscription

Login