Prof. Dr. Stephan Rist

Professor für Humangeographie / UNESCO Chair

Kritische Nachhaltigkeitsforschung

+41 31 631 87 68
Universität Bern
Geographisches Institut
Hallerstrasse 12
CH-3012 Bern

Areas of professional focus

  • Human Geography (Nature-Society Relationships and Sustainability)
  • Governance of Natural Resources and Sustainability; 
  • Agroecology; 
  • Organic Agriculture; 
  • Social and Societal Learning Processes;
  • Sustainable Regional Development;
  • Indigenous Knowledge;
  • Culture and Sustainability;
  • Transdisciplinarity and Action-Research


  • Project Leader of a Research for Development (R4D) Project “Towards food sustainability: Reshaping the coexistence of different food systems in South America and Africa”, financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation, together with the World Trade Institute (WTI), Institute of Social Anthropology (both University of Bern), Geneva Academy for International Law and Human Rights, and AGRUCO in Bolivia and CETRAD in Kenya.
  • Project Leader of a Swiss National Research Programm (NRP-68) on “Sustainable soil governance and large scale land acquisitions originating in Switzerland” together with World Trade Institute (WTI), University of Bern and Agroscope/ Federal Office for Agriculture.
  • Co-leader Prodoc Research Module (RM) on “Transcultural Governance of the Environment in Latin America” (TransGELA), financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).
  • External reviewer of the IPCC Special Report "Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation" (SREX) invited by ProClim.
  • Leader of research project on “Governance of Forests Multiple Outcomes in the Bolivian Lowlands (GOFORBO), funded by the Swiss Network of International Studies, Geneva.

Further professional interests

  • Philosophy of Sciences;
  • Ethics and Development

Field experience

Bolivia; Peru; Ecuador; Honduras; El Salvador; Nicaragua; Mexico, Chile; Brasil; Argentina; Kenya, Mali; India


German, Spanish, English, French


  • Nachhaltige Ressourcennutzung und Regionalentwicklung Vorlesung und Übungen
  • Feldkurs zu Entwicklung und Umwelt
  • Forschungspraktikum Bachelorarbeit



  • Vorlesung Sustainable Regional Development
  • Fachexkursion Integrative Geographie I
  • Applied Integrative Geography (Method)
  • Betreuung Masterarbeiten in der Abteilung Nachhaltige Entwicklung
  • Comparing and Supporting Endogenous Development (COMPAS) on Cosmovision and Agri-Culture European Society for Rural Sociology (ESRS) Swiss Society for Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology (SGA)