Forest & Water

Sustainable Mountain Development 

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  Resilient Watershed Management

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Our approaches:




Resilient Watershed Management

Resilient watershed management is our key approach defined as a set of actions aimed at ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources in a watershed. It provides a framework for integrating different land-use and livelihood systems e.g. forestry, pasture and agriculture but also mixed systems. These actions focus on the geographical area drained by a watercourse which can range from small scale upland watersheds to extended river basin landscapes. Regardless of scale, an integrated landscape management approach is applied to promote coordinated actions within upland watersheds and linkages between upstream and downstream environments and populations.


Sustainable Livelihoods

Millions of people depend on the production, marketing and consumption of crops, livestock, fish, forests and other natural resources. Focusing on these resources we design and implement strategies to generate income and reduce poverty through employment creation and sale of surplus goods and services. Examples of project elements related to livelihoods are the setup of small scale businesses, the establishment of kitchen gardens and the promotion of the sustainable and efficient use of valuable natural resources.








Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem services comprise supporting, provisioning, regulating and cultural services. While considering sustainable development of up- and downstream areas the conservation of ecosystem services in mountain watersheds is crucial. By applying an integrated approach we ensure the preservation of water and forest related functions of the ecosystem services in order to buffer erosion, mitigate up- and downstream conflicts and protect livelihoods among others.


Disaster Risk Management

As changes in climate and global phenomena, like urbanization, precipitate changes in risk dimensions and the intensity of potential hazardous events, disaster risk management is considered an essential part of sustainable mountain development. Basic elements comprise vulnerability and risk assessment, awareness raising and ultimately increased resilience to natural hazards. In our work strengthening resilience involves capacity development for increased preparedness and support for sustainable post-disaster rehabilitation using local know-how, workforce and materials. Examples of project elements are erosion control measures against degradation and improved techniques to build back better after shocks such as earthquakes. 








The team is engaged in producing methodological tools, capacity development and technical material that support the implementation of initiatives at the local level and ensure the global dissemination of expertise relevant for the thematic areas Forest and Water and Sustainable Mountain Development. We advance intersectoral topics on the international agenda and raise awareness among national policy- and decision-makers who are responsible for finding a balance between socio-economic development and environmental conservation. We support local stakeholders in advocating sustainable development.


Knowledge Management

The team ensures knowledge generation and sharing for the implementation of strategies and initiatives in the thematic areas of Forest and Water and Sustainable Mountain Development. To maintain high quality standards, to foster continuous learning and to nurture exchange and mutual reinforcement between field application and preparation of technical guidelines, we are strongly inclined to systematically review and analyze the practical experiences made at field level. Collecting good practices, capitalizing lessons learned and making them available in formats adapted to different audiences and users is an important step towards improving the uptake of knowledge and technologies in FAO’s member states.  





last updated:  Thursday, July 22, 2021