UNCCD and WOCAT extend partnership to make sustainable land management a global priority


19/02/2020 UNCCD News

Bonn, Germany – On 17 February 2020, the UNCCD secretariat and the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) signed a partnership agreement, committing to implement the WOCAT 2020+ Initiative. This strategy, which was first introduced at the UNCCD COP14 in India, 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.

Established in 1992, WOCAT is a global network of SLM specialists that unites more than 2000  members registered on the WOCAT platform, as well as over 60 participating institutions and around 30 national and regional initiatives. It connects stakeholders with SLM specialists and experts that share tools and methods for identifying fields of action and gives the members an opportunity to share knowledge of land-resource management. UNCCD and WOCAT have successfully cooperated in the past, and the new strategy will allow to scale up their joint efforts through strengthened regional cooperation.

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Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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