The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) has joined the global network of over 200 partners of the FAO elearning Academy, a dedicated platform offering courses that are fully aligned with the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
This partnership makes it possible to extend the reach of ICBA’s capacity development offerings and allows its stakeholders to benefit from over 350 multilingual courses provided free of charge as a global public good through the FAO elearning Academy.
ICBA and the FAO elearning Academy have a shared goal and mission of developing human capital and strengthening capacities and skills in climate-smart agriculture, sustainable natural resource management, and biodiversity conservation, among others.
As FAO’s official certification body, the FAO elearning Academy currently has a global audience of more than 600,000 learners and offers peer-reviewed content on different topics in a range of formats, including self-paced and blended learning programs, massive open online courses (MOOCs), technical webinars, online tutored courses, mobile learning courses, face-to-face training workshops, as well as master’s and post-graduate programs.
The courses cover a wide range of subjects, including water management, soil restoration, climate-smart agriculture, gender empowerment, sustainable food systems, nutrition, food waste and food loss management, and responsible management of natural resources.
The collaboration is in line with ICBA’s efforts to develop individual and institutional capacities in different countries.
The center works to equip its stakeholders from farmers to researchers to youth with the skills, resources, and tools to innovate and adapt agriculture and food production in marginal areas of the world to changing climatic and environmental conditions.
ICBA also aims to harness the skill and creativity of women and youth to generate novel solutions for food security and agriculture through tailor-made programs like the Arab Women Leaders in Agriculture (AWLA) and the ICBA Youth Engagement Society (ICBA YES). Many educational programs specifically targeting youth are also provided by the Emirates Soil Museum, a unique facility serving as an information hub and a critical element of building awareness around the issues of soil degradation and loss. Located at ICBA, the museum is dedicated to the role of soils in the environment, agriculture, and food security, as well as types of soil found in the UAE.
ICBA also offers internships and fellowships to young women students and researchers from around the world to do research at its facilities. The center also conducts research and leadership programs for early- and mid-career women scientists.
Since 2000, ICBA has provided around 20 postdoctoral fellowships and some 140 internships. Nearly 2,500 people from 75 countries have also benefitted from ICBA’s technical courses.
This has been possible thanks to ICBA’s network of partners around the world. The center has partners in more than 50 countries, enabling it to leverage a vast and diverse pool of expertise to achieve a greater impact on the ground.