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World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT)

The World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) is a network of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) specialists from all over the world. Currently, there are more than 2000 registered users, over 60 participating institutions, and roughly 30 national and regional initiatives. The global Network is formalized by the Framework Agreement, defining the WOCAT Network as WOCAT International, and WOCAT Regional and National. WOCAT is organised as an open consortium of national and international institutions and operates in a decentralised manner. WOCAT is carried out through initiatives at regional and national levels, with backstopping from experienced members of the consortium.

At the global level, WOCAT is coordinated by the Steering Committee of WOCAT International, consisting of 8 Consortium Partners, which have a shared responsibility for the functioning of the WOCAT Network, assisted by the global secretariat. Task forces are set up to further develop initiatives and tools, and to support national and regional institutions. Biennial global WOCAT Network meetings provide a basis for exchange on the progress of different initiatives and for directing future activities.

At the national and regional levels, WOCAT is included in specific projects, involved in local programmes, and may become part of a national strategy. Its tools are used to document and evaluate local sustainable land management (SLM) successes and to share them with others. Rather than prescribing what users must do, WOCAT enables practitioners and decision-makers to make informed choices about implementing and scaling up good SLM practices.

Meanwhile, there is considerable experience available on how to start, organise and maintain national and regional initiatives. This experience is made available in the form of guidelines and through the personal support of members of the WOCAT consortium.

Primary recommended database

In 2014 the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) was selected as the primary recommended database for best practices in “sustainable land management (SLM) technologies, including adaptation.” An agreement was signed between the UNCCD secretariat and the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern to improve accessibility to information on SLM best practices, identifying the WOCAT Secretariat as the executing agency of the agreement. WOCAT has made the best practices available, as reported by UNCCD country Parties, and continues to work on improvements in the accessibility of information on SLM.

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