CDE in a nutshell

The Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) was founded as an interdisciplinary research centre of the University of Bern in 2009. CDE’s commitment is to advance innovative approaches in research and education that are appropriate for transforming highly complex sustainability problems into widely supported sustainable development pathways.

For this purpose, CDE engages in social learning and co-production of knowledge in several world regions, invests in long-term partnerships, and connects local realities to global debates.

CDE’s origins date back to the Group for Development and Environment founded in 1988 at the Institute of Geography. From 2001 to 2013, CDE was the lead institution of the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South. Today, CDE has the mandate to promote research, teaching, and implementation in the field of sustainable development and global change, working together with the University of Bern’s Executive Board, selected research groups, as well as national and international partners.

CDE employs around 90 people from 25 disciplines, has activities in three regions of the global South as well as in Switzerland and Europe, and is currently implementing over 70 projects with an annual turnover of CHF 13.2 million. An important part of CDE’s tasks are education and training. CDE offers courses in sustainable development and global change at bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and postgraduate levels, with currently around 450 students.


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