Land & Water

Promoting coherence and coordination on land and water

FAO works to promote coherent approaches to sustainable land and water management.

FAO's work in land and water is relevant to several dimensions of sustainable development, such as the governance and management of food production systems; the provision of essential ecosystem services; food security; human health; biodiversity conservation; and the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.

FAO engages in a wide range of partnerships and collaborative ventures, both within and outside the Organization. Through projects, studies and information-sharing, FAO helps increase scientific understanding of the biophysical and socioeconomic relationships between land and water resources at the landscape scale, and it provides member countries with policy guidance aimed at achieving greater management coherence among sectors. FAO’s work on the land–water nexus is developing state-of-the-art, practical, innovative and policy-relevant options for on-the-ground decision-making on land and water management.

FAO’s coordinated approach to land and water management helps raise awareness of the degradation of water resources caused by inappropriate agricultural practices, such as excessive irrigation and land-clearing, especially in water-scarce ecosystems.

Drought poses a long-term major challenge for land and water management, both locally and globally, and it hampers efforts to reduce poverty and hunger. FAO’s work on drought brings together previously fragmented information on the land–water–energy nexus and helps build technical and institutional capacities to better manage land and water in the face of climatic extremes.

Tools for land and water management

FAO is helping bring greater coherence to policies and research on climate change and biodiversity. Its toolkits provide users with assistance in obtaining legal, financial and technical resources for improving land and water management.