From the visit to Gunnarsholt
20 April 2016

Fellows visit SCSI HQ and horticultural campus of AUI

Recently the UNU-LRT fellows visited Gunnarsholt, the headquarters of the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland (SCSI) in South Iceland. The Director of SCSI, Mr Sveinn Runolfsson, welcomed the group and presented each fellow with the book Healing the land by Roger Croft, which tells the story of land reclamation and soil conservation in Iceland. Ms Anne Bau, biologist at SCSI, showed the fellows around Gunnarsholt and the facilities there. The fellows will live in Gunnarsholt for two months in the summer or from mid-June to mid-August while they work on their individual research projects.
23 March 2016

New group of fellows for the 2016 training programme

Once again we at UNU-LRT welcome a new group of fellows for the six-months training programme. This time the group consists of five women and six men from seven countries: Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia in Central Asia, Ghana and Niger in West Africa, Uganda in East Africa and Malawi and Lesotho in Southern Africa. We look very much forward to working with the energetic group of fellows in the coming months.
18 March 2016

New review paper on sandy deserts

A large review paper on the sandy deserts in Iceland was recently published in the Aeolian Research journal, titled: The Icelandic volcanic aeolian environment: Processes and impacts — A review. Iceland has extensive sandy deserts and rates among the dustiest places on Earth. Preventing land degradation and restoring many of these deserts is a major challenge for the Icelandic society, just as it is in many of the severely degraded areas within the developing countries. The conditions in Iceland, the severe land degradation and active restoration efforts are among the reasons for the location of the UN University Land Restoration Training Programme. Such publication is valuable for teaching and research purposes at UNU-LRT.
18 December 2015

Season´s greetings

The year 2015 will soon come to an end and 2016 is about to commence. This was a productive year for UNU-LRT and we thank our collaborators for good cooperation in 2015 and wish you all a prosperous New Year 2016 and success in raising awareness of the importance of combating land degradation and restoring degraded land.
Panel discussion at the side event
11 December 2015

Side event at the Climate Conference (COP21) in Paris

UNU-LRT participated in a side event at the Climate Conference (COP21) in Paris, France, this week. The title of the side event was Desertification and Land Restoration – The Climate Connection. The side event focused on the challenges of land degradation, the goal of a land degradation-neutral world, the benefits of soil carbon sequestration and the importance of land restoration capacity building. UNU-LRT Director, Dr Hafdis Hanna Aegisdottir, gave a talk on the importance of training people to become change agents in order to combat land degradation, restore degraded land and mitigate and adapt to climate change. Ms Monique Barbut, the Executive Secretary of UNCCD, linked climate change and land degradation neutrality in her talk and emphasized the importance of land for us to be able to reach the goals of the other Rio conventions (CBD and FCCC) and for reaching the Global Goals.
Organising committee with Vigdis Finnbogadottir
26 November 2015

Seminar on soils, climate change and the Global Goals for sustainable development

To celebrate the International Year of Soils 2015, UNU-LRT has throughout this year organised short public meetings on issues related to soils, in partnership with the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland and the UN Association in Iceland. In those meetings topics such as soils & food, soils & education, soils & economy, and soils & cities have been covered. This week a seminar was held to mark the International Year of Soils where the importance of soils was discussed expansively and in connection to the new Global Goals for sustainable development. In the meeting the importance of soils and ecosystem restoration to reach the Global Goals and to fight climate change (goal #13) was emphasized. A panel of people from different arenas of society shared their thoughts on how they believe individuals as well as communities, nations and corporations could contribute to solving the pressing global issues related to soils and land health, which have a direct link to climate change.