A new service agreement was signed between GRÓ – The International Centre for Capacity Development, Sustainability and Societal Change and Iceland GeoSurvey (ÍSOR) for the hosting of the Geothermal Training Programme, one of four GRÓ Programmes hosted in Iceland.
Mr. Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, expressed particular satisfaction with the signing of the agreement. “With the conclusion of this agreement, we are completing a process of reform that began in the run-up to the transfer of the GRÓ Programmes from co-operation with the United Nations University to co-operation with UNESCO. I initiated an internal audit of the Programmes’ operations, which has resulted in formal service agreements with hosting institutions for the administration and operation of the Programmes. This new arrangement ensures increased efficiency and transparency and that the funds used for these projects are used to the best advantage of our partners from developing countries. In addition, this provides opportunities for growth and opportunities for the future if it goes well, “said the Minister.
GRÓ is an independent center for skills development and knowledge in developing countries and operates under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), according to an agreement between Iceland and UNESCO, in areas where Icelanders’ expertise is used in international development cooperation. Other Programmes are the Gender Equality Studies & Training Programme, the Land Restoration Training Programme and the Fisheries Training Programme.
The Geothermal Training Programme was previously hosted by the National Energy Authority and GRÓ, and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs thanks the National Energy Authority for its unique co-operation in the development and operation of the project in recent decades and for good co-operation in transferring the project to a new host.
The Geothermal Training Programme and ÍSOR have long been the same
“It is a real pleasure for ÍSOR to take on the role that we are entrusted with today by GRÓ, in hosting and operating the Geothermal Training Programme,” said Mr. Árni Magnússon, CEO of ÍSOR, on the occasion. “For decades, the Geothermal Training Programme has played an important role in training specialists in this field, and this will certainly not change. We look forward to the collaboration with GRÓ and the new bright future ahead.”
Mrs. Thórdís Ingadóttir, Chairman of the Board of ÍSOR, said that the Geothermal Training Programme and ÍSOR’s paths have long coincided, as the Programme has traditionally recruited a number of teachers to the ranks of ÍSOR’s employees. “The Geothermal Training Programme has enjoyed having access to many of the world’s most talented specialists in the field of geothermal energy, in collaboration with ÍSOR, the energy companies, Icelandic engineering firms and more. This will not change with the new arrangement. We are looking forward to having the Geothermal Training Programme in our house and thank you for the trust we have been shown,“ Þórdís added.
Mr. Jón Karl Ólafsson, Chairman of the Board of GRÓ, also expressed satisfaction with the new agreement. “I am completing a two-year transformation process here, which I have had both the pleasure and honor of working in collaboration with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the GRÓ board and current and former directors. This is a pleasing milestone and I look forward to continued work ahead and to strengthening these projects, especially in the wake of this pandemic, “said Jón Karl.