On 14 September 17 fellows graduated from the annual six-month training programme at UNU-LRT. The graduation of the 10 women and 7 men was celebrated with a ceremony at the Keldnaholt research campus of the Agricultural University of Iceland. Two of the graduating fellows came from Tajikistan, a new UNU-LRT partner country. Other fellows from Asia came from Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and fellows from Africa came from Ethiopia, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, and Uganda.
Speakers at the graduating ceremony were Mr Sturla Sigurjonsson the Permanent Secretary of State, Dr Barron Orr the Lead Scientist for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Dr Hafdis Hanna Aegisdottir UNU-LRT Director, Dr Arni Bragason the Chair of the UNU-LRT Board and Director of the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland, and Dr Sæmundur Sveinsson the Rector of the Agricultural University of Iceland. Two of the graduating fellows addressed the guests on behalf of the graduating cohort, Ms Robiya Turdimatovna Nabieva from Tajikistan and Mr Iddrisu Latif Nasare from Ghana.
Also present at the ceremony were 17 former UNU-LRT fellows who attended the SER Europe conference in Reykjavík that same week. It was very enjoyable to have so many current and former fellows at the graduation ceremony as well as the special guest of UNU-LRT, Dr Barron Orr from UNCCD. The occasion was used well to exchange ideas and connect with professionals working on land restoration and sustainable land management across the globe.
With the graduating fellows of 2018, the total number of graduated fellows from the Land Restoration Training Programme has reached 118 fellows, 56 women and 62 men.
Congratulation class of 2018!