“The selection of appropriate SLM practices and approaches is an important step in ensuring the effectiveness of land management and restoration.” (FAO)

What is SLM for WOCAT?

WOCAT defines SLM as the use of land resources, including soils, water, animals and plants, for the production of goods to meet changing human needs, while simultaneously ensuring the long-term productive potential of these resources and the maintenance of their environmental functions.

What is the main objective of SLM?

The main objective of SLM is to promote human coexistence with nature with a long-term perspective so that the provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services of ecosystems are ensured. SLM is an essential prerequisite to sustainable development; progress should be made simultaneously at all levels.

SLM provides flexible, adaptable solutions in a world of fast-changing natural conditions (e.g. climate change and variability, extreme weather events), social conditions (e.g. migration, feminization of agriculture), and economic conditions (e.g. changing markets).Global and local development challenges demand that land users innovate and find ways of managing their land sustainably, staying resilient in the face of change and maintaining or improving their livelihoods and living conditions.

Within SLM, WOCAT focuses mainly on efforts to prevent and reduce land degradation through Soil and Water Conservation (SWC) technologies and their implementation approaches. The use and sharing of information related to these efforts is a key asset of WOCAT. Training enhances capacities for better SWC implementation. This leads to improved knowledge management. The aim of WOCAT, as a network, is to increase the awareness and motivation of planners and decision-makers as well as land users and agricultural advisors. WOCAT hopes to reduce investment failures by providing knowledge support concerning the advantages and disadvantages of available alternatives, based on a wide range of experience in the field.

The extent and effectiveness of SLM/ SWC today, be it within a given region or at a worldwide scale, is not known. There is, therefore, a pressing need to assess these issues, not least in view of the heavy investments being made in this sector. By providing the appropriate tools and networks required for conducting such an assessment, WOCAT can play an important role in this domain.

SLM and the Agenda 2030

Local-level occurrences can have a global impact, which is why WOCAT looks beyond local Sustainable Land Management (SLM). For example, if soil erosion occurs on enough farms, greenhouse gas emissions will rise, leading to climate change. For this reason, WOCAT is – on the one hand – dedicated to assisting land users, and – on the other – to helping governments define national policy.

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SLM knowledge products

SLM knowledge products are produced by WOCAT with its local, national and international partners. They provide latest insights into SLM by presenting collections of good practices or analyzing practices in view of scaling up. Knowledge products include books, fact sheets, videos and other materials.

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Projects and initiatives

At national and regional level, WOCAT is included in specific projects, mainstreamed in local programmes, and may be part of a national strategy.

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Global SLM Database

The Global Database on SLM contains a vast range of good practices from all over the world and is the primary recommended database by UNCCD.

» Learn more about the Global SLM Database
SLM Training materials

Discover and download the WOCAT SLM training material with presentations on the different tools and methods, and video instructions.

» Go to the WOCAT training materials