WOCAT Newsletter
December 2022 Edition

Dear WOCATeers wherever you may be,

We are looking back on a busy but incredibly fruitful and exciting 2022! We are delighted to share with you the latest updates from the WOCAT network as we continue our mission to support adaptation, innovation, and decision-making in Sustainable Land Management (SLM).
Over the past six months, as part of the GIZ ProSoil project, a series of WOCAT trainings were held in the ProSoil countries Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Madagascar and Tunisia. Under the lead of WOCAT Consortium Partner CIAT-Bioversity, training participants learned how to document SLM practices in a standardised format, how to use the WOCAT SLM Technologies and Approaches Questionnaires, and how to share them on the global WOCAT Database. They discussed the inclusion of SLM best practices in the UNCCD PRAIS4 report and the creation of SLM knowledge products, utilizing the information from the Database, for different actor groups. In total, about 100 stakeholders from different ministries, NGOs, research organisations, and extension institutions attended the trainings.
Field day during the ProSoil training in Kenya. (Photo: Noel Templer)
Latest news and updates
With support from the GEF/FAO REDESER project, the global WOCAT SLM Database and Questionnaires on SLM Technologies and Approaches were translated and are now also available in Portuguese
As part of the FAO-driven 8th World Forest Week and the GLF digital forum "Transforming Agrifood Systems with Forests”, Ingrid Teich (WOCAT SLM Expert) gave a presentation on "How to improve decision making using better data and the latest tools?" Rewatch it here.
During the 2022 International Civil Society Summit "Desertif'actions" in Montpellier, France, Rima Mekdaschi (WOCAT SLM expert) together with the UNCCD Secretariat presented a joint WOCAT-UNCCD session on tools, knowledge, partnership and services to bring SLM and Agroecology to scale. 
A new story on "Data Compatibility in linking Land Degradation and Tenure Security" was produced by WOCAT Consortium Partner FAO and the Land Portal. WOCAT’s work on land degradation neutrality is also featured.
The ELD and the GEO-LDN initiatives, FAO, UNCCD and WOCAT launched the "Scenarios 4 Integrated Land Use Planning" workshop series. The workshop’s objective was exchange of knowledge to provide the basis for better informed decisions concerning the present and future use of land.
WOCAT Consortium Partner ICIMOD’s Director General Pema Gyamtsho and Sanjeev Bhuchar (WOCAT focal point at ICIMOD) met with Nicole Harari (WOCAT Global Executive Team) at ICIMOD Headquarters in Kathmandu, Nepal. They discussed further collaboration to support the restoration of mountain ecosystems through SLM.
Former WOCAT Director, Hanspeter Liniger, was invited as a speaker at Regreening Africa’s Webinar "Restoring Kenya’s Rangelands". He highlighted the importance of documenting experiences and knowledge on effective rangeland management practices and presented WOCAT as a knowledge sharing platform suitable for rangeland documentation. 
On the World Soil Day, Nicole Harari (WOCAT Global Executive Team) presented in the session "Nature-based Solutions for Sustainable Soil Management" during the National Conclave on Soil Health Management for Natural Farming in New Delhi, India. The event was organised by WOCAT Consortium Partner GIZ and NITI Aayog. 
With the support of WOCA associated researcher and LDN expert Cesar Garcia and FAO, Colombia held a workshop to define its strategy for mapping land degradation and estimating SDG 15.3.1 in the context of PRAIS4 with WOCAT and FAO support. The workshop was supported by the Colombian Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.
A survey was launched by WOCAT in collaboration with FAO Land and Water and South-South divisions to map demand and expertise for South-South exchange on SLM. The survey targeted stakeholders from government, NGOs, research institutes and others in Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Near East and North Africa. The results will help  WOCAT to shape its future activities in these regions.
Latest knowledge products
Authors from FAO, Morocco and WOCAT, published a scientific article on “Participatory land resources planning to promote sustainable landscape management in rainfed areas-Morocco”. The article presents how FAO-WOCAT tools were used to support a territorial planning process. Download this and other SLM-related scientific articles here.
The International Journal for Rural Development RURAL21 has published the article "WOCAT – spreading sustainable land management world-wide", highlighting the collaborative efforts of WOCAT with the UNCCD and partners to "uncover success in sustainable land management".
The School of Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering of the Bern University of Applied Sciences, WOCAT Consortium Partner CDE and WOCAT jointly published an ebook on different SLM practices applied at watershed level in the Atlas mountains of Morocco. 
More from WOCAT Partners & Regions
During the UN Climate Change COP26 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, world leaders launched a new alliance to boost drought resilience: the International Drought Resilience Alliance, supported by UNCCD. Rewatch the high-level launch event here.
In collaboration with the governments of Argentina, Ecuador and Panama, WOCAT and FAO organised a South-South knowledge exchange workshop on land degradation neutrality to capitalise on lessons learned and good practices regarding the development of the PRAIS4 Report to the UNCCD. Over 50 stakeholders, including numerous UNCCD focal points, from different countries in Latin America and the Caribbean attended. 
Together with FAO Panama, two Google Earth Engine trainings for land degradation mapping were organized for specialists from the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Agriculture of Panama. The trainings, under the lead of WOCAT LDN expert Ingrid Teich and WOCAT associate researcher and LDN expert Cecar Garcia, aimed at strengthening national capacities for land degradation neutrality monitoring and reporting to the UNCCD.
The WOCAT Database continues growing with a number of good practices from Europe. As the project OPTAIN progresses, the 14 case study sites continue documenting 70+ Natural Small Water Retention Measures, which will be linked to the NWRM learning environment at a later stage.

Dear WOCATeers, as ever, thank you for subscribing and taking the time to read this. It matters greatly to us. With your support, we are excited to continue working on changing the way we use our land to not only tackle environmental concerns, but also impact peoples lives for the better.

The WOCAT Executive Management Team and Secreatariat wish Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year to all! Wishing you all the best for a joyful and successful new year!
Stay tuned for the next issue, upcoming in 2023!

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Photo (header): Boundary between the provinces of Azuay and Loja in Ecuador where the project FORECCSA implemented action to improve irrigation systems in areas vulnerable to drought. (Ministerio del Ambiente, Agua y Transición Ecológica del Ecuador)

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