Gunnarsholt, Iceland

Icelandic soils are predominantly of volcanic origin and are inherently unstable and fragile when exposed to the elements. Following serve sandstorms during the last 19th and early 20th century much of the case study area was abandoned and largely covered by sandy deserts. Some areas have been successfully reclaimed, however, the land reclamation approaches used were small-scale and expensive. Today, land reclamation in this area focuses on establishing woody vegetation islands at selected locations in cooperation with local farmers as well as assisting them in reclaiming degraded areas around their homesteads through a program called "Farmers heal the land". It is hoped that the vegetation islands will expand over time as seed production increases and eventually cover the area. The project demonstration activities will focus on showing the feasibility of the proposed methodology, i.e. using small-scale projects for large-scale land reclamation with local participation.