The Unit is works in close coordination with the Land and Water Division (NRL) and Natural Resources Service of the Division (NRC) at FAO Headquarters.
In support of SFE countries, the following activities are conducted:
- Undertaking periodic collection of available information in land, water and other natural resources management with the aim to undertake and update an inventory of best policies, practices and best-bet technological options (technology basket) in sustainable land management, water harvesting, irrigation and ecosystems management;
- Providing advice and assisting Member countries in policy and advocacy for greater investment in sustainable land management, water control in both crops and livestock – based agricultural systems, including aquaculture;
- Identifying national priorities for investment and proposals for necessary actions for the sustainable development of productive sectors, including most appropriate land and water policies, technologies and management practices;
- Providing technical support and contributing to the identification and formulation of field projects and programmes, particularly in the domain of land and water management, irrigation and conservation agriculture at watershed level;
- Promoting and maintaining information flow among SFE centres of excellence (selected Universities, research centres, CGIAR institutions and major land management, irrigation and livestock-water programmes);
- Participating in discussions which concern trans-boundary rivers and lakes and organizing regulatory Meetings of the East and Southern Committee (EASCO) on Soil Knowledge and Sustainable Land Management;
- Undertaking a GIS database development and modeling on sustainable management of natural resources and climate change in the sub-region
- Developing and maintaining information systems and disseminating information and best practices on land and water resources management in the sub-region, through knowledge networks;
- Conducting training, conferences, meetings and workshops related to sustainable natural resources management and contributing to periodic seminars and other professional events at national and regional levels; and
- Supporting TerrAfrica Initiative (http://www.terrafrica.org) in the sub-region.
Tigray: Together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MoARD), FAO visited sustainable land management activities conducted by the MERET project supported by WFP. Together with GTZ, this UN Agency has assisted local populations in watershed management activities including water harvesting vegetable production and ecosystems regeneration.
SNPPR: The project on Sustainable Land Management in Kafa Zone, SNNPR (OSRO/ETH/50X/NET) has been operational since June 2006 with financial support from The Royal Netherlands Government. Kafa Zone is a food secure area with high rainfall and vast forest and soil resources that are however facing very recent degradation. FAO in collaboration with the Government is supporting local populations in six selected watersheds in various domains ranging from Soil and Water Conservation works, land rehabilitation to Participatory Forest Management (PFM) and vegetable production.