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.
27 October 2015

UNU-LRT presented at UNCCD COP12 in Ankara

From 12 – 23 October, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) hosted its Twelfth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP12) in Ankara, Turkey. At COP12, delegates focused on solutions to issues related to desertification, land degradation and drought, including how to pursue the target to achieve land degradation neutrality (LDN) and how to align the recently adopted Global Goals for Sustainable Development with the goals and action programmes of UNCCD. It was emphasised that by restoring degraded land and promoting sustainable land management, many of the Global Goals will be more attainable, including increased food and water security, less hunger and poverty and reversed negative climate change impacts. UNU-LRT organized a side event at COP 12, which presented the annual six-month training programme as a model for providing the capacity building necessary to support land degradation neutrality initiatives.
28 September 2015

The Global Goals for Sustainable Development

A set of 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development were formally adopted at a special UN summit in New York on 25-27 September. The goals raise great expectations and set the stage for the next 15 years. Their predecessors, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), focused mainly on the human aspects of development. The Global Goals go beyond this by integrating the role of ecosystems in sustaining human well-being. This is a major step forward, in that the new goals seek to ensure a better balance between economic growth and environmental protection.
18 September 2015

Graduation at UNU-LRT

On Thursday 17 September thirteen fellows graduated from the UNU-LRT six-month training programme; seven women and six men. The graduates come from Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Namibia, and Uganda in Sub-Saharan Africa, and from Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia in Central Asia. At the graduation ceremony the UNU-LRT Director, Dr Hafdis Hanna Aegisdottir, the Permanent Secretary of State, Mr Stefan Haukur Johannesson, and the Chair of the UNU-LRT Board, Mr Sveinn Runolfsson, addressed the fellows and guest. Addresses were also given by two graduating fellows, Ms Uuganzaya Myagmarjav from Mongolia and Mr Emmanuel Chidiwa Mbewe from Malawi, who spoke on behalf of the 2015 cohort of fellows.
Mr Harrington Nyirenda presents his project
8 September 2015

UNU-LRT fellows present their research projects

This week the UNU-LRT fellows presented their research projects at an open seminar at the research campus of the Agricultural University of Iceland. The projects were very diverse, ranging from studies on for example restoration treatment effects on soils, vegetation and water processes to studies on socioeconomic constraints affecting the adoption of sustainable land management practises and policies in fellows’ countries. The presentations inspired discussions on how the results of the different research projects can help guide us to more successful solutions with regards to land management and policy issues.
28 August 2015

Symposium on capacity building at World Conference on Ecological Restoration

This week UNU-LRT held a symposium on capacity building to restore resilient ecosystems in developing countries at the 6th World Conference on Ecological Restoration in Manchester, England. Beside presenting the UNU-LRT programme, two former UNU-LRT fellows from Mongolia and Ghana gave talks on the restoration needs and actions in their countries. Professionals from other capacity building initiatives shared their experiences and views on the needs and effectiveness of capacity building. Diverse issues were covered, ranging from the critical importance of socio-ecological resilience to ensure the welfare of poor people who often depend on natural resources, to the challenges of sustaining institutional capacity in politically unstable states, to exciting new mobile phone technologies that have the potential to increase the success of restoration practices and projects.