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.
The 9 Consortium partners include the 3 original partners from the previous management group (CDE, FAO and ISRIC), the main donor over the last 20 years (SDC) and 5 new partner organizations:
1. CDE/UoB - Centre for Development and Environment of the University of Bern, Switzerland, which hosts the WOCAT Secretariat and website;
2. FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy, coordinated by its Land and Water Division (NRL) which has provided substantive in-kind co-funding and technical support over the years;
3. ISRIC - World Soils Information (previously International Soil Reference & Information Centre), Wageningen, the Netherlands;
4. SDC - Swiss Development Corporation, Bern, Switzerland, acting for the Swiss Confederation, represented by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The main donor to date for the network, development of the global database/ information system and development/ piloting of SLM assessment and mapping tools in collaboration with network members;
5. GIZ - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
6. ICIMOD - International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal
7. ICARDA - International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Beirut, Lebanon
8. CIAT - International Agricultural Research, based in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia
9. the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
The WOCAT Framework Agreement has been developed through a consultative process to formalise the global network and partnership which comprises “WOCAT International” and “WOCAT Regional / National”.
- WOCAT International is constituted, as a consortium of the concerned Partners to provide a concerted effort to address the future challenges related to Sustainable land management (SLM). The 9 institutions have signed the partnership agreement. A bilateral Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) and/or time bound Letters of Agreement will be established to specify areas of institutional collaboration with specified work plans and budgets.
- WOCAT Regional and National consists of Institutional and Individual Members associated with WOCAT International based on their signing of a Memorandum of Understanding or Online Terms of Agreement with the Director, as a declaration of intent. Any institution that supports the Vision and Mission of the WOCAT Network can become a WOCAT Network Member. Institutional Members may host Regional and National Initiatives.