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UNESCO Chair in International Development, University of Edinburgh (2009)

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Purpose/Objectives of the Chair

International Development is a priority for all nations and actions to support this process are currently encapsulated through the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  The UNESCO Chair in International Devlopment supports the development of strategic international partnerships to promote education and research to improve human well being in developing countries.  The UNESCO Chair is delivered through the Edinburgh International Development Centre ( as part of the University of Edinburgh’s Internationalisation Strategy through a set of activities designed to link staff and students with partners around the world in efforts to apply science and education to achieve the MDGs, a core priority for UNESCO.

The UNESCO Chair in International Development has as its main aim to promote economic and social progress in developing countries with specific emphasis on the needs of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.  This will be achieved through innovative new educational and research initiatives designed to empower partners from developing countries through collaborative approaches to research and training.

The University of Edinburgh is committed to building flexible global partnerships in support of international development.  A key part of this process will be the establishment of a series of Global Academies designed to meet the needs of partners in developing countries.

Chairholder Professor Paul van Gardingen

Address: International Development Centre, University of Edinburgh, Surgeon's Square, Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9XP, UK
Email: p.vangardingen [at]
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 7253
Fax: +44 (0)131 650 7863
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Professor Paul van Gardingen is one of the three Directors of the Edinburgh International Development Centre (EIDC).  He has a PhD in Plant Physiology from the University of Canterbury (New Zealand) and has worked on the application of science to address environmental and international development issues in Africa, Asia and Latin America.  He was awarded the Personal Chair in International Development at the University of Edinburgh in 2008 in recognition of his work to promote the role of science and innovation for international development.  Along with the Co-Directors of the EIDC, Professor Sue Welburn and Dr James Smith, he has led a process within the University of Edinburgh to build partnerships within the University and with global partners to promote the role of research and training in support of the MDGs.  In addition to his work promoting the role of science for development he has conducted research on the links between ecosystem services and development working with the UK’s Department for International Development, the European Commission, The World Bank and the UK’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs.

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