An important part of the training in the UNU-LRT six-month training programme are field excursions where the fellows learn about land degradation challenges, successes and failures in land restoration, and discuss with local people working in the field. Last week the fellows were on an excursion in the North of Iceland where they visited diverse sites revealing how land condition has been improved with various innovative solutions, often under harsh conditions.
The fellows visited a company that creates compost out of organic wastes, and learned about the benefits of using compost and manure in land restoration. Wetland and forest restoration sites were visited with consultants from the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland (SCSI) who explained the steps in restoring those ecosystems, and protection and management of the native birch woodlands were described by a manager at the Icelandic Forest Service. The fellows also learned about the importance of regulating grazing based on land condition and resilience, and were introduced to challenges brought by increasing number of tourists to vulnerable areas. An important part of this four-day excursion was also to experience Icelandic nature, culture and cuisine.
The photo shows the farmer Thor Karason explaining to the fellows how he and his father have used manure to improve their land.