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UNESCO Chair on Food, Biodiversity, and Sustainability Studies

The UNESCO Chair on Food, Biodiversity, and Sustainability Studies was announced in late 2019, with LCSFS Founding Director, Alison Blay-Palmer, appointed as chairholder. The UNESCO Chair is jointly hosted by Wilfrid Laurier University and the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

The purpose of the Chair is to promote research, communication, and learning about how food can help protect biodiversity and achieve sustainability. This will include continued work on existing LCSFS projects, including FLEdGE, Urbal, and the City Region Food Systems, and the establishment of new projects that build upon and extend the reach of our current network of more than 80 Canadian and international partner organizations.

The UNESCO Chair is a platform for change. As a partnership, the Chair will examine sustainable food systems from biophysical, cultural, and economic points of view to enable transformative action. Using the lens of food systems, the Chair will work towards biodiversity protection, enhanced community resilience in the face of climate change, increased opportunities for women and youth, improved food security, and enhanced community well-being. The Chair will promote education through new programmes and community-based intergenerational learning, and cultivate the interface between science and traditional knowledge.

Led in Canada by the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the prestigious UNESCO Chairs program promotes international inter-university cooperation in key priority areas for the agency. The chair program involves more than 781 institutions in 116 countries. The work of the UNESCO Chair on Food, Biodiversity, and Sustainability Studies will be connected to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and will cooperate closely with existing UNESCO Chairs on relevant programs and activities.

Watch the remarks from the Launch of the UNESCO Chair on Food, Biodiversity, and Sustainability Studies, including Alison Blay-Palmer's inaugural speech as Chairholder:

Contact Us:

Alison Blay-Palmer, Chairholder

E: ablayplamer@wlu.ca

Amanda Di Battista, Project Coordinator

E: adibattista@wlu.ca

Heather Reid, Research Assistant

E: hereid@wlu.ca