Australia, Tasmania

UNESCO Chair in Communication, Environment and Heritage


Description and Mandate of the Chair

Australia will enter its fifth decade as a signatory to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention in the wake of a series of disastrous events from bushfires to coral bleaching that significantly impact its natural and cultural heritage. At the same time, the centre of global population, trade and travel continues to shift towards the Asia-Pacific, increasing pressure on the region’s landscapes, species and places. In a world profoundly transformed by digital media and public relations – where attacks on science and circulation of ‘fake news’ diminish trust in cultural institutions and political decisions, and environmental journalists and campaigners are increasingly the subject of violence – the UNESCO Chair’s aim is to find ways to better communicate about and negotiate our shared futures.

The University of Tasmania’s Institute for Social Change houses the Chair and associated program of work, with Institute director, Professor Libby Lester, the inaugural chair holder. A former journalist now internationally recognised for her research in environmental communications, she has published seven books and more than 80 journal articles and chapters, supervised over 20 PhDs, and been a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo.

(UNESCO No. 2021AU1476)
(Ver. 07-2023)

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