The Ambassador of the Sudan H.E. Mr Mahgoob Mohamed Uthman, met in Helsinki with Professor Markku Kanninen, Director of Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI), University of Helsinki on 9 November 2017. Dr Mohamed Elfadl (University Researcher) was also there attended the meeting. In the meeting the Finland-Sudan cooperation in Forestry has been the theme of the discussion. The role of the University of Helsinki in promotion of forestry education, research and strengthening institutional capacity in the Sudan and other countries was emphasised and the importance for continuation of the cooperation with the Sudan and future directions have been highlighted.
Recognizing the 30 –year-experience of VITRI in dryland management and development gained from education, research and development project implemented in many African countries, mainly in Horn of Africa and the Sahel; establishment of a regional centre to promote sustainable land management (SLM) that helps increase resilience, generates growth and investments, and decreases social inequalities that contributes to peace and stability. Linked to that issues of land degradation and its socioeconomic implications on livelihoods and migration have been thoroughly discussed in the meeting. The strategic framework and targeted approaches for the proposed regional centre (Horn of Africa Resilience Centre “HARC”) will be pursued as an initiative waiting to be put forward by both the Sudan and Finland for benefiting all countries in the region viz Eritrea, South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya.