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Best practices in sustainable land management

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Examples from the SPI report

In 2017, UNCCD’s Science Policy Interface (SPI) published a report  showcasing several dozen examples of individual sustainable land management (SLM) best practices selected from scientific journal articles, research papers and SLM databases (including WOCAT). This information is categorised by land use type and technology group. 

The WOCAT global database on SLM

The WOCAT database is one of the largest SLM global databases. The database contains more than 2,180 SLM practices from 130 countries, in twelve different languages, including best practices reported by UNCCD Parties. 

Best practice examples
Animal Draft Zero-Tillage

Animal draft zero-till involves the use of an animal-drawn mechanical planter to plant directly in un-tilled soil to minimize soil disturbance and leave a cover of crop residues to conserve the soil and water. The protective soil cover reduces evaporation and enhances infiltration while the improved soil structure and organic matter content increases soil water storage making zero tillage an important drought mitigating strategy. Note: For this SLM technology case, the SPI report on Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change refers to: Kaoma-Sprenkels, C., Stevens, P.A. and Wanders, A.A. 1999. IMAG-DLO and conservation tillage: Activities and experiences. In: Kaumbutho P G and Simalenga T E (eds), 1999. Conservation tillage with animal traction. Animal Traction Network for Eastern and Southern Africa (ATNESA).

Agro-pastoralism
Mixed land
Animal Draft Zero-Tillage
Silvo-pastoralism: Orchard with integrated grazing and fodder production

This silvo-pastoral system serves multiple purposes: it increases land productivity with the establishment of fruit trees, supports land conservation by limiting livestock to certain areas, reduces water runoff, and improved soil moisture and water retention (especially in areas on high slopes. The integrated orchard with pastureland and fodder production is partially fenced to hinder livestock grazing.  Trees are regularly pruned, while the pasture serves as feed for the livestock, with any remaining grass used as cut-and-carry fodder. Note: For this SLM technology case, the SPI report on Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change refers to: Stephens, M.., Donaghy, P. and Griffiths, J. 2010. Silvopastoralism — an opportunity waiting, Farming Ahead January 2010 No. 216, and Montagnini, F., Muhammad, I. and Murgueitio, E. 2013 Silvopastoral systems and climate change mitigation in Latin America. Bois et forêts des Tropiques, 316 (2).

Agro-pastoralism
Mixed land
Silvo-pastoralism: Orchard with integrated grazing and fodder production