Land & Water

Land Policy

A crucial challenge for averting land, soil, water and vegetation degradation – one of the main contributing factors to large-scale food insecurity – is to strengthen policies on, and the governance of, land management and to address land-use conflicts. 

SLM is vital for adaptation to and the mitigation of climate change, as well as for biodiversity conservation. Increasing the area of both public and private lands under sustainable management requires – in addition to clear property rights and the associated normative frameworks – the identification of tools that engender effective responses; the development of concrete policy actions to provide an enabling environment; and appropriate partnerships. 

FAO promotes informed policy-making on SLM by supporting the provision of national, regional and global data and assisting national institutions to develop knowledge management systems on land resources.

FAO support for SLM policies includes: 

  • providing up-to-date information on SLM and land-use planning;
  • providing information on dryland and drought management;
  • providing global data and indicators for reporting on land degradation trends, including those associated with climate change and ecosystem services; and
  • harmonizing international work on SLM policies.
  • FAO’s work on land resources encompasses:
  • attention to governance and empowerment; 
  • baseline and trend information, including indicators; 
  • the mainstreaming of land policies into national strategies, policies and programmes, such as TerrAfrica, innovative farming systems (e.g. World Agriculture Watch), and drought management policies, including regional cooperation and partnership building; 
  • advocacy for policy convergence on land, water, rangelands and forest resources; 
  • engagement in technical and scientific dialogues and exchanges on land management, soil and water resources and related issues; and 
  • synergistic action with international, public and private partners.