Land Resources

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.

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

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

World Soil Day 2015: Soils, a foundation for family farming - Main celebration to take place on 5 December at FAO Headquarters

5 December 2014 has been designated the first official World Soil day and 2015 has been declared the International Year of Soil. This event is intended to celebrate the first official World Soil Day and will also constitute the launch of the International Year of Soils in FAO as similar events are organized in New York and Bangkok. The overall aim of this event is to create full awareness of all stakeholders about the fundamental role of soils for human life.

More on World Soil Day

Pacte Social Territorial - premier succès d’un dialogue et d’une concertation communautaire pour un accès à la terre durablement sécuriséRead

Un cadre de concertation pouvant garantir «un accès durable et équitable à la terre et aux ressources naturelles» existe désormais au niveau de la province du Nord Kivu.
La signature de ce pacte, un succès à mettre à l’actif du processus national de dialogue et de négociation concertée pour renforcer la cohésion sociale au sein de la population du Nord Kivu, est le chemin le plus approprié pour faciliter l’accès à la terre, principal facteur de sécurisation des moyens d’existence pour renforcer la résilience des ménages agricoles du Nord Kivu, et de ce fait, contribuer à la stabilisation régionale.

Read more


First high-level training course on Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) to take place in Beijing (copy 1)

FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) China are organizing the “First High-Level Training course on the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) –Think Globally, Act Locally". The course will be held in Beijing, from the 14 to the 28 September 2014. Field visits will be made to selected GIAHS sites in China. Participants will be guided through the process of developing a GIAHS proposal for their own countries. 

More on the training course

Download the course prospectus

International Year of Soils 2015 Website now online


The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS). The IYS 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions. The official website for the IYS 2015 is now online. Visitors can download the official logo in 6 languages.

Visit the IYS 2015 Website

World reference base for soil resources 2014

3rd edition of the World Reference now available online!

The WRB is a soil classification system for naming soils and creating soil map legends. It is hoped that this publication will contribute to the understanding of soil science in the general public and in the scientific community.

Access the publication

9-10 June Incentive for Ecosystem Services meeting (copy 1)

1st Incetives for Ecosystem Services - Policy Advisory Committee Meeting

The committee has been established to discuss policy and institutional issues regarding incentives for ecosystem services. The PAC will guide the project in the coming year in its activities to facilitate the debate on an enabling policy environment supporting sustainable agriculture and the provision of ecosystem services.

Read the full vacancy announcement

New position available in the Land and Water Division

Land Resources Officer (P4)

A new professional position is available in the Land and Water Division for an expert in participated and integrated (cross-sectoral) land use planning and territorial development tools and methods, ecosystem assessment/management and geo-statistical/ spatial analysis for sustainable agricultural and rural development.

Read the full vacancy announcement

Globally Important Agricultural Heritage systems (GIAHS) (copy 1)

Steering and Scientific Committee Meeting at FAO HQ in Rome

The GIAHS Initiative promotes public understanding, awareness, national and international recognition of Agricultural Heritage systems. The focus of this meeting is to consider a possible way forward of GIAHS in a transitional phase through discussions with partners and member countries, the Scientific Committee and Steering Committee members.

Read More

Land, Territorial Development and Family Farming in Angola

A holistic approach to community-based natural resource governance

This FAO paper aims to take account of the recent history of Angola in relation to its land tenure and natural resource management issues and the approaches that have evolved as a result of FAO’s continuous support and partnership with the government of Angola. A systematic methodological rights-based approach for land and natural resources management, founded on the principles of social dialogue and negotiation, have pushed the envelope as a paradigm change for what was once a purely technical, top-down approach to agricultural development. With the launch of the FAO 2014 Year of Family Farming, this document provides an overview of the family farming sector in Angola and the on-going FAO land and territorial development activities.

Access paper


Assesing and monitoring our earth’s land and water resources to support food security and early warning system with contributions from all

FAO’s new database includes eleven global land cover layers each representing the major land cover classes defined by the FAO and System of environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) legend. It brings global land cover data under one roof for the first time and represents the most-reliable global view of planetary land cover assembled to-date. This new product collects previously scattered and unharmonized land cover information from around the globe into one centralized database, marking a major improvement in information regarding the physical characteristics of the Earth’s surface. Up to now, one of the major challenges for countries and organizations was to identify, measure and record efficiently a good global overview of land cover.

Read More


La Facilitation pour la gouvernance territoriale

La Conférence internationale sur la réforme agraire et le développement rural (CIRADR) mit en place une tribune pour des discussions sur les politiques foncières4. À cette occasion, la FAO a présenté une proposition pour une méthode novatrice, en mesure de combattre ces problèmes: la méthode du développement territorial participatif et négocié (DTPN).

L’objectif du présent document est de mieux définir certaines caractéristiques des ressources humaines qui s’avèrent indispensables si l’on veut «contribuer» au processus de convergence progressive et de collaboration entre les divers acteurs.

Access paper