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To disseminate sustainable land management (SLM) best practices, the UNCCD Secretariat is working alongside the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) to provide a database where specialists can share their best practice technologies.

WOCAT was established in 1992 as a global network of SLM specialists and more than 400 active users who documented over 2000 SLM practices in over 130 countries. It connects SLM specialists with experts that provide tools and methods for identifying fields of action and enables users to share knowledge of land-resource management.

UNCCD identified WOCAT as a primary recommended database for best practices on SLM technologies.The official recognition of UNCCD gives WOCAT a mandate to support the 194 signatory countries in recording their SLM best practices and using the SLM knowledge of stakeholders worldwide – from land users to decision-makers – to improve local land management.

In 2020, the UNCCD secretariat and WOCAT signed a partnership agreement, committing to implement the WOCAT 2020+ Initiative together with its Consortium partners. This strategy aims to boost the uptake of sustainable land management (SLM) practices around the world through a strengthened global partnership.

WOCAT 2020+ strives to establish a leading platform of expertise and create a transformative momentum to enable countries and institutions to scale up SLM, achieve land degradation neutrality (LDN) and reach related sustainable development goals (SDGs) addressed by the three Rio conventions on land, climate and biodiversity. Building on the vast knowledge presented in the global SLM database and the new partnership actions, WOCAT 2020+ will synthesize local, national and regional experiences, provide tools for evidence-based decision making, facilitate targeted research and disseminate lessons learned. This will give a wide range of stakeholders – from agricultural extensionists to UNCCD national focal points – the access to new SLM insights and guidance.

WOCAT's target group

WOCAT is targeted toward land users who can implement more secure environmental services that benefit the global population at large. The following channels provide access to the target group:

  • SLM specialists at the field level, including technical staff, agricultural advisors and project implementers
  • SLM specialists at the (sub) national level, including planners, project designers, researchers and decision makers
  • SLM specialists at the regional and global levels, including international programme planners and donors.

WOCAT services in a nutshell

  • Offers physical and online training and tools for the whole programme cycle of planning, implementation, review and evaluation
  • Provides a standardised way to document SLM knowledge and hosts a comprehensive database
  • Assists agencies to select SLM measures and to choose options to promote wide adoption and spread
  • Shows how SLM supports land degradation efforts, NRM, watershed management, climate change action, ecosystem restoration and sustainable production

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