Land Resources

Land Resources, Management, Planning and Use

Learn about soil's functions and threats

Check out our latest animated introduction to soils

Soil 101 is an animated introduction on soils prepared in the framework of the 2015 International Year of Soils. This 2 minutes video outlines the main soil functions and the threats currently facing them.

Combating Drought, Land Degradation and Desertification for Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development

The contribution of science, technology, traditional knowledge and practices | 9-12 March 2015, Cancún, Mexico

FAO and WOCAT are key players in the Global effort to combat Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD) through establishing a knowledge decision- making process and supporting counties in mainstreaming and scaling out Sustainable Land Management (SLM).

The DS-SLM framework enables countries to make informed decisions for mainstreaming and scaling out SLM by providing in-depth knowledge, understanding and analysis of the effects of land use change and management, effectiveness of SLM responses, and evidence of the reasons WHY it is crucial to invest in SLM, and WHERE, HOW, WHAT and WHEN to invest. Priority SLM strategies are evaluated and selected through a compilation of knowledge and analysis, and negotiation of various options and criteria by national and local decision-makers and stakeholder groups. A modular DS-SLM framework with different entry levels allows for a wide flexibility in the application by countries according to their context and needs.

African countries gain expertise in Digital Soil Mapping

Building sustainable soil management capacity as International Year of Soils rolls out

FAO Africa's Head grants laptop to participants at Digital Soils Mapping Workshop, Accra, Ghana | 17 March 2015 (FAO Photo)The African Soil Partnership was launched through workshops held in Accra, Ghana and Nairobi, Kenya in 2013. During these workshops, the representatives of the African countries presented their priorities in terms of actions to promote sustainable soil management. A common gap was identified in terms of improving the availability of updated soil data and information for supporting decision taking in relation to soil management. Capacity development in this area was identified as priority in the region.

To this end, with the support of the European Commission, the GSP has made efforts in order to respond to this demand by providing a Capacity Development Programme on digital soil mapping in Western and Central African countries (16-27 March 2015 - Accra, Ghana), and Eastern and Southern Africa countries (23-27 February 2015 and 13-17 October 2014 -Nairobi, Kenya).

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Land-Potential Knowledge System (LandPKS) Sharing Local and Scientific Knowledge to Increase Land Productivity and Resilience

On the 17 March 2015, Jeff Herrick from USDA-ARS Jornada Research Unit will present the  Land-Potential Knowledge System (LandPKS) that aims sharing Local and Scientific Knowledge to Increase Land Productivity and Resilience. A shared understanding of land potential can be used by governments, farmers, pastoralists, and development workers to sustainably increase agricultural production, biodiversity conservation, and improvement of other ecosystem services.
The seminar will be followed by discussions and sharing of relevant work in FAO such as Decision support for SLM scaling up and mainstreaming (WOCAT collaboration) and the Drylands monitoring – results of the DM week (Collect Earth).

Join us to know more and to share experience on Tuesday March 17th 2015  from 10:00 to 12:00 hrs  in FAO headquarters !

More information on LandPKS

The WOCAT International partnership

Since its creation in 1992, WOCAT, the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies, has been organized as an informal global network providing tools and methods that enable SLM specialists to identify priority areas and need for action and enable them to share their valuable resource-management knowledge. The tools and methods help WOCAT Members identify appropriate SLM technologies and approaches and support them in making decisions in the field, in various levels of planning, and in scaling up best practices. In the past, the WOCAT management team has conducted many activities based on informal arrangements, guiding interventions but relying on ad hoc assistance, in-kind support, and financial contributions stipulated in specific contracts and projects.

In April 2014, WOCAT has been expanded through a Framework Agreement into a more formal and wider partnership entitled WOCAT International, a consortium of concerned partners that seek to work in concert in order to address challenges related to SLM.

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Territorial Development and Local Knowledge Systems

Land and Water Division Working Paper 11 | 2014

Engaging local farming knowledge through a right - based approach to agricultural development

The purpose of this paper is to argue that agricultural development efforts should support the practical integration of different knowledge systems in various areas and sectors of agriculture to reach the sustainable development goals of a happier and healthier humanity and global environment.

Beginning with a discussion on some of some basic concepts around knowledge, land and territory, the paper will illustrate some of thedifferent ways of thinking of knowledge system processes as they relate to agricultural stakeholder rights. The paper then aims to emphasize the need forinnovative and inclusive participatory processes for engaging local knowledge users in order to diversify knowledge use and support sustainable natural resource management.

Download this working paper

Global Soil Partnership

Now available

Improving Gender Equality in Territorial Issues - Integrated Guidelines 

English - Español


Land and Water Division
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