Celebrating the World Day to Combat Desertification

17 June 2019
Celebrating the World Day to Combat Desertification

On 17 June every year, we celebrate the World Day to Combat Desertification. This year we also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. On this occasion, UNU-LRT highlights the importance of sustainable land management and ecosystem restoration to achieve many of the UN sustainable development goals. 

All activities of UNU-LRT aim at building capacities in the field of land restoration and sustainable land management, specifically in developing countries. Our concern is unsustainable land use, land degradation and desertification. Efforts to combat these problems are often hampered by lack of knowledge, capacity and social motivation in the affected areas. UNU-LRT strives to assist people from developing countries to break down these barriers to effective management of natural resources, emphasizing women's empowerment in all steps of that advancement. 

To educate and empower people on those important issues and provide means of how we can scale up land restoration activities, UNU-LRT has created a massive open online course (MOOC) on Business Model Innovation for Sustainable Landscape Restoration, with our partners in the ENABLE consortium. This MOOC is inter- and transdisciplinary, designed for environmental- and business students and professionals, as well as anyone with an interest in landscape restoration based on sustainable business models. The course addresses the challenges of large-scale landscape restoration with a partnership approach and reflects the interconnectedness of nature, society and economy in landscape management. 

This eight-week free online course aims to equip learners with practical business tools to restore landscapes. In the course, participants are encouraged to go through the process of business model innovation. The course is designed in three phases that move the participants from ideas towards the successful implementation of a new business model for sustainable landscape restoration based on returns of natural, social and financial capital. Each step of the process is illustrated with three real-life cases of landscape restoration to show how the theory looks in practice. These cases are: a large-scale woodland restoration case in Iceland; a case about diversification of land use and cropping systems in Spain; and a case about the challenges of recovering from forest fires in Portugal.

The course is open for all to start working on solutions for landscape restoration – one of the biggest challenge of our time. For more information, watch the teaser video and see the ENABLE website. You can register for the course here.

ENABLE is a strategic partnership, co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. Its consortium partners are: Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University; Commonland; The Spanish National Research Council Soil and Water Conservation Research Group; Nova School of Business and Economics; and the United Nations University Land Restoration Training Programme.

Let's grow the future together.