The main international lecturer at UNU-LRT this year is Dr Richard Thomas, Scientific Coordinator of ELD (the Economics of Land Degradation Initiative) and Consultant to ICARDA (International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas). Dr Thomas has vast experience in managing and implementing research projects on natural resources management and a great deal of his work has been on strengthening managerial and institutional capacity by building networks between scientists from many parts of the world, including Africa, Asia and Latin America.
As this year’s main international guest lecturer, Dr Thomas teaches on the ELD approach and methodology. ELD is a global initiative for sustainable land management and economic benefits of land and land based ecosystems. The initiative aims at making the economics of land degradation an integral part of policy strategies and decision-making by increasing the political and public awareness of the costs and benefits of land (see www.eld-initiative.org).
This is the fourth time Dr Thomas is a guest lecturer at UNU-LRT, but he lectured at the training programme in 2012, 2013 and 2014, then as the Assistant Director (Dryland Ecosystems) at UNU-INWEW (UNU International Network on Water, Environment and Health).