The fellows in front of a traditional turf house
16 August 2015

Field excursion focusing on land condition, restoration and management

The UNU-LRT fellows have just finished a four day excursion to the west and northwest of Iceland. The main goal was to provide the fellows with first-hand experience on land management issues and how human land use can have a major impact on land condition. Sites were visited that illustrate how past human land use reduced the resilience of the land to the extent that when combined with natural factors it resulted in almost complete loss of vegetation and soil. Such collapsed ecosystems take very long to restore even though much effort is put into restoration, and former productivity may be hard to reach as could vividly be observed in the excursion.
17 July 2015

High-level symposium on land degradation neutrality at the third International Conference on Financing for Development

UNU-LRT participated in a high-level symposium on land degradation neutrality at the third International Conference on Financing for Development, which was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 13-16 July. The symposium was hosted by the Governments of Iceland and Namibia (on behalf of the Group of Friends on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought) in cooperation with the State of Qatar, United Nations University, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) secretariat, UNDP and Biovision.
The participants of the workshop at SCSI
9 July 2015

UNU Rector Dr David Malone visits UNU-LRT

The UNU Rector Dr David Malone visited the four UNU programmes hosted in Iceland this week: the Geothermal, Fisheries, Gender Equality and Land Restoration Training Programmes. UNU-LRT welcomed the Rector at the headquarters of the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland (SCSI) where the UNU-LRT fellows stay these days. A workshop was held at SCSI where UNU-LRT Director introduced the activities, priorities and future directions of the programme, and the fellows shared experiences from their work at home and told how they anticipate the training at UNU-LRT will benefit them and their institutions when back home at work. The research activities and international cooperation of the two implementing institutions of UNU-LRT, the Agricultural University of Iceland and SCSI, were also introduced.
8 July 2015

Field education excursion focusing on climate change

Last week the UNU-LRT fellows went on a three day excursion to the southeast of Iceland. The purpose of the excursion was to provide the fellows with first hand experience on land management issues and the influence of climate change in the region. The characteristic of this region is the close proximity to glaciers, including Europe’s largest glacier Vatnajökull. The consequences of climate change are vividly expressed in the area in the retreat and thinning of the glaciers, which have exposed new land, displaced river channels and changed river discharge, affecting transportation routes, erosion and restoration potential.
2 July 2015

UNU-LRT workshop in Uganda

UNU-LRT held a successful workshop in Kampala, Uganda on 30 June and 1 July. The workshop was organized in collaboration with Ugandan partners of UNU-LRT, hence Makerere University, National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and District Local Governments. The objective with the workshop was to explore how Ugandan partners could see UNU-LRT expand its activities within Uganda in coming years. The workshops was attended by former Ugandan UNU-LRT fellows and facilitated by Dr Jon Geir Petursson, UNU-LRT studies committee member.
15 June 2015

Guest lecturers from UNU-EHS teach ecosystems and disaster risk reduction

UNU-LRT welcomed two guest lecturers from UNU-EHS in Bonn last week, Dr Julia Kloos and Dr Zita Sebesvari. They gave lectures on ecosystems and disaster risk reduction, emphasising the link between social and ecological systems and how disaster risks can be reduced by sustainable management, conservation and ecosystem restoration. Throughout those sessions the UNU-LRT fellows worked in groups on several case studies to identify the different components of disaster risk, such as exposure and vulnerability, and to identify ecosystem services and beneficiaries.