Short course in Ethiopia

5 May 2022
Course participants at Zeyisie Elgo Kebele during a field visit session. Photo: Arba Minch Universit…
Course participants at Zeyisie Elgo Kebele during a field visit session. Photo: Arba Minch University

GRÓ LRT is delighted to announce the successful implementation of a 5-day training course organized in partnership with the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative and Arba Minch University on Integrated approaches for land restoration through sustainable land management in Arba Minch, Ethiopia.

The aim of the course was to raise awareness on the economic benefits of ecosystem restoration and sustainable land management (SLM), teach the main steps involved in planning SLM and ecosystem restoration projects, and provide an overview on valuation techniques. The target group for the course was district development assistance workers specialized in natural resource management. Participants in the course were twenty.

The course was organized in a hybrid format, combining in-class sessions, field visits and pre-recorded lectures. GRÓ LRT’s main contribution was in the form of pre-recorded lectures, given by Dr Thorunn Petursdottir from the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland and Professor Asa L. Aradottir and Professor Olafur Arnalds, both from the Agricultural University of Iceland. Their lectures focused on social-ecological systems, land literacy and degradation processes, and on approaches and principles in restoration of degraded land.

The course was held at the Haile Resort in the city of Arba Minch on 28 March to 1 April 2022. The surrounding Lake Chamo watershed was used as a case in the course to study the effects of land degradation on various ecosystem services and on how SLM and restoration can reverse the degradation and produce a range of benefits for the society.

The ELD Initiative is a global initiative established in 2011 by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the European Commission. The initiative works toward making the economics of land degradation an integral part of policy strategies and decision-making by increasing the political and public awareness of the costs and benefits of land.

Arba Minch University is based in South-West Ethiopia. The University was initially founded as the Arba Minch Water Technology Institute (AWTI) and it was officially inaugurated as a full-fledged university in June 2004 and offers both undergraduate and graduate programs.