History

Land Restoration Training Programme (LRT and UNU-LRT) 2007 – 2019

The Land Restoration Training Programme (LRT) was founded in 2007 through an agreement between the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Agricultural University of Iceland (AUI) and the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland (SCSI), as a part of the government’s development cooperation efforts.

LRT joined the United Nations University in 2010 through a cooperation agreement between the United Nations University (UNU), the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Agricultural University of Iceland (AUI) and the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland (SCSI). LRT ran as a UNU training programme from 2010 through 2019. During this period, over 120 fellows graduated from the annual six-month training programme, hailing from Ethiopia, Ghana, Lesotho, Namibia, Niger, Malawi and Uganda in sub-Saharan Africa, and Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan in Central-Asia.

Throughout those years, the six-month training programme was further developed and short courses were created and delivered in cooperation with our partner institutions in Mongolia and Uganda. Altogether 124 specialists attended the Programme’s short courses in those countries. An initiative to grant scholarships to former fellows for master’s and PhD studies was also developed, and in 2019 the first scholarship recipient finished an MSc degree at the Agricultural University of Iceland.

GRÓ Land Restoration Training Programme (GRÓ LRT) since 2020

In 2020, the Land Restoration Training Programme joined three other training programmes in Iceland, on Fisheries, Gender Equality and Geothermal Energy, to form GRÓ - International Centre for Capacity Development and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Societal Change, a UNESCO Category 2 Centre.

GRÓ LRT is funded by the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs as a part of the government’s development cooperation efforts. GRÓ LRT runs capacity building and training initiatives in collaboration with its respective implementation institutions: The Agricultural University of Iceland and the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland.