UNU-LRT six-month training programme
Vision: Graduates will be global experts on the principles of ecological restoration of degraded areas and sustainable land management; able to act on their knowledge and drive actions at different levels, from the local community to national policies.
The overall goal of UNU-LRT six-month training programme is to train working professionals in developing countries in the methods and theories of sustainable land management and restoration of degraded land, and to strengthen their capacities to advance and implement those activities in their home countries.
The programme aims to provide the specialists with comprehensive understanding of issues that must be addressed to successfully manage and restore land. The programme equips fellows with appropriate knowledge, courage and confidence to act independently, to interpret and apply their knowledge and to act on inferences they make based on this knowledge. The programme is also committed to promoting gender equality by maintaining gender balance in the admission of fellows as well as providing a gender-sensitive learning environment.
The teaching and learning methods at UNU-LRT emphasise active participation of all fellows in an interactive setting. These include lectures, field and in-class demonstrations, practical training and application, field and in-class exercises, group work, workshops, and field trips.
After the six-month training, the participants should have:
- comprehensive understanding of the issues that must be addressed to successfully manage and restore land.
- knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate and interpret landscapes (land literacy)
- understanding of socioeconomic drivers of land degradation, and the barriers that prevent the mitigation of land degradation
- knowledge and skills necessary to design and implement ecologically sound restoration of degraded landscapes
- peoples skills and leadership skills necessary to do participatory project planning, implementation and monitoring
- understanding of gender equality perspectives in the field of land restoration and sustainable land management
The curriculum of the six-month training contains the following eight modules:
Module 1: Scientific methods and dissemination skills
Module 2: Course principles and frameworks
Module 3: Biophysical fundamentals of land management
Module 4: Sustainable land management (SLM) and restoration planning
Module 5: Implementation
Module 6: Evaluation and lessons learned
Module 7: Special topics that vary from one year to another, e.g. sessions by international guest lecturers
Module 8: Individual research project that the fellows work on throughout the major part of the training under the supervision of expert(s)
The topics in the first six modules taught in UNU-LRT six-month training programme are organized according to the UNU-LRT project cycle framework. The project cycle is used as a framework for process management throughout the training sessions and the modules are strategically placed within the cycle. The first three modules provide the programme’s backbone, the basic knowledge and understanding, needed to use the project cycle, which is the focus of modules four to six.
The aims of the six-month training programme are reached by emphasizing both the theoretical knowledge and understanding of land degradation and restoration processes and principles, and the process management needed to be able to bring about changes. By applying the project cycle as a process management framework in the UNU-LRT programme curriculum we link the science and practical aspects of land issues and project management. Furthermore, by doing a research project the fellows gain experience in applying and synthesizing knowledge, and critically analysing and summarizing topics related to land restoration and SLM, and come up with realistic recommendations and strategies.