GRÓ Land Restoration Training Programme under the auspices of UNESCO
The Land Restoration Training Programme (LRT) is a part of the GRÓ Centre, the International Centre for Capacity Development – Sustainable use of Natural Resources and Societal Change, which is a UNESCO Category 2 Centre based in Iceland. LRT offers postgraduate training on ecological restoration and sustainable management of ecosystems, custom built for professionals in developing countries faced with severe land degradation. The mission of LRT is to combat land degradation with sustainable and ecologically sound solutions and to strengthen institutional capacity and gender equality in the field of land restoration and sustainable land management.
LRT works with partner institutions that have been identified as playing a significant role in land restoration and sustainable land management in developing countries. As an interdisciplinary Programme, LRT draws on expertise from academia, researchers and practitioners to provide holistic and meaningful knowledge and perspectives on land restoration and sustainable land management in all its training activities.
The core activity of LRT is the six-month training programme held each year in Iceland. Selected professionals from LRT partner institutions receive fellowships from LRT to take part in the six-month training. In addition, LRT provides financial and technical support to develop and deliver short courses in partner countries. These courses are designed and run in cooperation between specialists from LRT and the partner institutions, often engaging the expertise of former fellows. LRT also offers scholarships to former fellows, who have completed the six-month training programme, to pursue graduate studies in land restoration and related subjects at Icelandic universities. Lastly, LRT attends and takes part in arranging conferences, symposiums and workshops related to land restoration and sustainable land management issues, as well as supporting former fellows to present their work at these events.
LRT is implemented jointly by the Agricultural University of Iceland (AUI) and the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland (SCSI), and builds on the knowledge and expertise of various partners by liaising with a wide range of Icelandic and international institutions and organisations. LRT is hosted by AUI and its main activities take place at Keldnaholt research campus of AUI in Reykjavík. The fellows of the six-month training also spend a couple of months in Gunnarsholt, the headquarters of SCSI in South Iceland.
LRT is funded by the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs as part of the government’s development cooperation efforts. The Programme was launched in 2007 and was a United Nations University Training Programme from 2010 to 2019. On 1 January 2020, LRT became a part of the GRÓ Centre.
LRT fellows work in groups at AUI´s Keldnaholt research campus