By Rima Mekdaschi Studer, Isabelle Providoli, Hanspeter Liniger – Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
A large share of land/natural resource degradation is a result of poor land and water management at all levels. For years, research and various national and international organizations have been working on issues of land degradation and alternative forms of land management. Land users worldwide have been testing, adapting, and refining new and better ways of managing land more sustainably. However, there has been relatively little documentation or evidence of the range of benefits generated by SLM.
The World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCATt) is one of the first programmes to promote better documentation and use of knowledge on SLM in response to land degradation. WOCAT and its network partners have developed a set of comprehensive, standardized tools and a global platform for documenting, assessing and sharing SLM knowledge to support decision making at all levels (farm, planning and policy). The constant need for adapting land management to a rapidly changing and complex world with continued and newly emerging demands calls for continuous and proper knowledge management.
About the Authors
Rima Mekdaschi Studer
Rima Mekdaschi Studer is a Senior Research Scientist, Natural Resources and Ecosystem Services at Centre for Development and Environment at University of Bern.
Isabelle Providoli is a Senior Research Scientist, Governance of Land and Natural Resources at Centre for Development and Environment at University of Bern.
About World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT)
A network for SLM (Sustainable Land Management) knowledge management and decision support to restore the land:
Without effective knowledge management and decision support tools and processes, land degradation and land resource management will continue to be addressed in an ad hoc manner, all too often overlooking, ignoring, or only selectively applying useful knowledge and experience gained over the years in various regions. Read more here.
Jointly developed with partner organizations worldwide, WOCAT’s flexible framework for documentation, monitoring, evaluation, sharing, and dissemination of SLM knowledge encompasses:
- Standardized questionnaires for documentation and evaluation of SLM technologies and approaches (e.g. case studies), with additional modules on climate change adaptation and watershed management.
- A global database for storage, query/searching, analysis, and exchange of SLM practices
- A scale-independent mapping tool for assessment of degradation and SLM
- A decision support tool for identification and selection of good practices at the local level (and a prototype approach for the watershed level)
- Manuals for the assessment of land degradation and SLM at the global, national, and local levels developed jointly with the FAO
- A manual for the production of SLM instructional videos developed jointly with IFAD
More information about WOCAT is available here.