UNESCO’s mission is to build a culture of peace, eradicate poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue, through education, science, culture, communication and information.

Within the scope of the natural sciences, UNESCO’s strategic priorities are:
The use of scientific knowledge for the benefit of the environment and the management of natural resources; The strengthening of science, technology and innovation systems and policies.

The UNITWIN AND UNESCO CATHEDRAL PROGRAM is designed to strengthen cooperation between universities and, especially,
to support Higher Education in developing countries. Launched by UNESCO in 1992, this action plan aims to be a movement in favor of academic solidarity worldwide.

The UNESCO Chair in Biodiversity and Conservation for Sustainable Development was officially established at the University of Coimbra in 2014.


Implement and support a network of researchers and institutions in the fields of biodiversity, ecology, conservation and sustainable development;

Invest in training and creation of educational resources for graduate students and researchers;

Creation and dissemination of digital platforms;

Promotion of science communication – Creation of bridges between academic circles and civil society;

Cooperation in the fields of research, training and communication of science with the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries.


  • Helena Freitas
    Helena Freitas Chair Holder and General Coordinator
  • António Abreu
    António Abreu Chair Manager and Researcher
  • Alexandra Aragão
    Alexandra Aragão Law
  • Anabela Mota Pinto
    Anabela Mota Pinto Health and Nutrition
  • António Gouveia
    António Gouveia History of Science and Biodiversity
  • Catarina Moura
    Catarina Moura Researcher and Scientific Adviser to the Chair
  • Cristina Nabais
    Cristina Nabais Terrestrial Ecosystems and Global Change
  • Eugénia Cunha
    Eugénia Cunha Paleoecology and Forensic Sciences
  • Fátima Alves
    Fátima Alves Social-Economic Governance and Sustainability
  • Fernando Florêncio
    Fernando Florêncio Anthropology
  • João Loureiro
    João Loureiro Biodiversity and Evolution
  • Joana Alves
  • Joana Cabral Oliveira
    Joana Cabral Oliveira Researcher
  • Jorge Canhoto
    Jorge Canhoto Biotechnology and Microbiology
  • José Paulo Sousa
    José Paulo Sousa Natural Resources and Sustainable Development
  • Maria Fernanda Rollo
    Maria Fernanda Rollo History, territories and communities
  • Miguel Clüsener-Godt
    Miguel Clüsener-Godt Research Associate
  • Miguel Pardal
    Miguel Pardal Marine and Coastal Processes
  • Rui Ribeiro
    Rui Ribeiro Environmental Risk Assessment
  • Sílvia Castro
    Sílvia Castro Biodiversity and Conservation


The UNESCO Chair has had Mandume Ya Ndemufayo University (Lubango, Angola) and Lúrio University (Nampula, Mozambique) from the beginning as its partners. Over time, many others have come together, in the desire to create an integrated network of research, training and communication of science in the fields of biodiversity, ecology and sustainable development.