Connecting people and landscapes


Lessons learned from FAO field projects on watershed management

Watershed management in action: Lessons learned from FAO field projects looks at how 12 projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America are devising local solutions to global challenges.

A watershed is characterized not only by the water that flows and connects to the same river or wetland, but also by the interconnectedness of the people who live there. Watershed management has therefore gained momentum over the past decade as a holistic way of conserving water, land and biodiversity resources while sustaining people’s livelihoods.

It is a learning-by-doing, adaptive, stakeholder-led process that takes different shapes depending on the context. In Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo for example, pilot schemes were put in place to compensate upstream inhabitants for sustaining ecosystem services, targeting users such as the hydroelectric company and flower nurseries. In Pakistan’s earthquake-affected areas, a watershed management project contributed not only to the rehabilitation of roads and irrigation channels but also to the diversification of food and income sources. These and many other examples are presented in the publication, which looks at both the strengths and weaknesses of the approach and highlights the need for stronger governance and long-term sustainability.

Publication date: 12 December in conjunction with International Mountain Day 2017.