- [May 2019] When the Students from UOC Came Calling
On Tuesday the 21st of May 2019, the UNCCD Secretariat, represented by its Capacity Building Marketplace (CBM) hosted students from the University of Cologne pursuing the Master in Environmental Sciences. The visitors were officially welcomed by UNCCD Deputy Executive Secretary, Dr. Pradeep Monga who also gave a general introduction to the UN system and to the UNCCD.
During this visit, the students and their accompany Academic Manager, Stefan Grønnerud, were exposed to a three and half intense and inspiring session of formal presentations on many subjects, ranging from Land Degradation and Its impacts on the societies, and Sustainable Land Management, to the SDGs and Land Degradation Neutrality. They had an introduction to the role of UNCCD and to the CBM and interns’ experience within the UNCCD. They also had the opportunity to meet with several officials of the UNCCD working in various fields from top management to technical issues.
The Chief of the Science, Technology and Implementation Unit, Mr. Johns Muleso Kharika moderated the event.
The students heard and saw firsthand how human activities are influenced by environmental issues and vice versa through a presentation by Dr. Stephen Adaawen.
Then, Dr. Richard Byron-Cox addressed the importance of achieving the SDGs and the key role of Sustainable land Management practices. He highlighted how land issues are interconnected with the SDGs and underlined that the SDGs cannot be realized without tackling environmental issues.
Dr. Barron Joseph Orr spoke about Land Degradation Neutrality, explaining its principles and the need to always consider the impact all our actions have on land.
The students were given a concise yet comprehensive introduction to the UNCCD by Ms. Anna Berecz and Ms. Raissa Tadia. The presenters spoke of the history and structure of the UNCCD. Mr. Jorge Sanz Fernandez introduced the students to the Capacity Building Marketplace underlining the many opportunities it offers daily, and its key role in supporting capacity building to facilitate the implementation of the UNCCD. Another highlight was a presentation by Ms. Loretta Asare and Ms. Ines Belhous on their experience as interns working with the CBM. They both related their personal experiences, and why such an internship was useful to young professionals.
The Capacity Building Marketplace exhibited some materials from the UNCCD Library to inform the students about the history of our Convention. The students were also given some publications on Land related issues as well as UNCCD memorabilia.
The students and their teachers had the chance to ask questions and freely interact with UNCCD officers throughout the entire exercise.
The visit ended with interviews with two of the students and their Academic Manager who gave their impressions on the exercise and shared their opinions about the link between their area of studies and sustainable development issues.
This event would not have been possible without the great cooperation of the university’s management team. Therefore, the CBM Team expresses its heartfelt appreciation to the University of Cologne. A very special thank you goes out to Mr. Stefan Grønnerud, who facilitated the coordination of this experience. Additionally, the CBM Team is grateful to all the officers who were involved and supported the exercise from the first day of planning to the final execution.
For those that are interested in the full coverage of the event, you can see the videos of the presentations, pictures, and interviews in the link below.
This visit was organized and coordinated by Dr. Richard A. Byron-Cox, Head of the CBM, who assures that these types of activities which help create awareness and provide a channel for sharing of experiences with the youth in universities and schools will continue.
If you are interested in having your school be part of this program just let us know by using one of these channels:
E-mail address: cbm [at] unccd.int, or rbyroncox [at] unccd.int
Social media channels:
Facebook: UNCCD Capacity Building Marketplace
Twitter: UNCCD Marketplace
LinkedIn: Capacity Building Marketplace (CBM)
YouTube: UNCCD Capacity Building Marketplace