Global Sustainable Land Management Platform for Knowledge Management and Decision Support (WOCAT)

Project completed

Sustainable Land Management (SLM) is essential for reducing land degradation, restoring degraded land and striving to achieve land degradation neutrality. WOCAT, the Global Sustainable Land Management Platform, is recognised by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) as the primary database for SLM best practices reporting, offers robust and up-to-date knowledge, tools and methods for evidence-based decision-making to implement the most appropriate practices within a given context and to improve land resources, ecosystems and livelihoods. The phase will focus on enhancement of knowledge uptake in decision support.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Climate change and environment
Environmental policy
Biosphere protection
01.12.2015 - 30.04.2020
CHF  1’600’000

Approximately one third of the world’s arable land is affected by degradation and desertification. Sustainable land management offers opportunities to reduce degradation or to restore and rehabilitate degraded land. To enable the widespread uptake of already existing SLM practices a proper knowledge management and decision support system is key.


Improve land resources and ecosystems (including soils, water and biodiversity) and people’s livelihoods by sharing, enhancing, and using sustainable land management knowledge.

Target groups

The main target groups are SLM specialists at the local, national and global levels, including governments and national agencies, donors, civil society organisations, research organisations, universities and rural advisory services.

The ultimate beneficiaries are land users and broader society reached by the target groups, especially SLM specialists in the field and at national, regional and global levels.

Medium-term outcomes
  • Enhanced knowledge and tools for evidence-based decision-making, adaptation and dissemination of SLM at different scales (local, landscape/watershed, national)
  • Engaged institutions and organisations, policymakers, private sector, civil society and general public, who adopt and mainstream SLM as the key cross-cutting approach to tackle global issues
  • Recognised, jointly developed and supported harmonised Global WOCAT SLM Platform for Knowledge Management and Decision Support

Expected results:  

  • Enlarged knowledge and database: 400 new practices (technologies and approaches),; 15 new maps and 10 new entries of various modules
  • Existing and new WOCAT tools, methods and knowledge products are available to interested stakeholders
  • WOCAT website and SLM practices database are hosted and maintained, free access is provided
  • On- and offsite SLM impact assessment carried out in six case study regions and at least four booklets per region, including policy briefs, and four videos for visualisation of key finding are produced

Results from previous phases:  

  • Institutionalisation of WOCAT
  • Funding diversification of WOCAT
  • Formalisation of national and regional SLM knowledge management hubs
  • Global acknowledgement and enhancement of WOCAT through the recognition by UNCCD as the primary recommended database for SLM best practices reporting
  • Further development of WOCAT tools and methods and their practical application to scale up SLM
  • Enhancement of the WOCAT knowledge base by more than 350 technologies and approaches, production of knowledge products

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Swiss Academic and Research Institution
  • Unversität Bern
  • University of Bern: Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

Coordination with other projects and actors

WOCAT is considered by UNCCD as the primary recommended database for SLM best practice reporting, which gives WOCAT the mandate to support all UNCCD parties in recording their SLM best practices.

WOCAT International has nine Consortium partners, including CDE, FAO, GIZ, ICARDA, ICIMOD, SDC, several MoU’s (e.g. UNCCD) and different projects running with other actors, such as IFAD, World Bank, FAO-GEF and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’600’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’600’000
Project phases Phase 4 01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024   (Current phase)

Phase 3 01.12.2015 - 30.04.2020   (Completed)

Phase 2 01.01.2012 - 31.12.2015   (Completed) Phase 1 01.01.2008 - 31.12.2011   (Completed)