Mapping the impact of SLM - the WOCAT - DESIRE experience

G.W.J. van Lynden, S.J.E. Verzandvoort, G. Schwilch, H.P. Liniger

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper


ABSTRACT Since 1992, the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) initiative has developed a standardized method for documentation of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices. The resulting on-line database currently counts over 450 technologies and over 350 approaches (implementation strategies) from around 50 countries. WOCAT also developed a tool to map land degradation and conservation. This method complements the information provided by the individual case studies on technologies and approaches. It evaluates what land degradation is occurring where and what is done about. The challenge is now to implement SLM practices that address environmental, economic and social concerns, i.e. decreasing degradation and improving ecosystems, while enhancing agricultural productivity and the livelihoods of land users. Research to show and quantify these impacts of SLM practices and on implementation strategies is undertaken in projects like DESIRE, in which the WOCAT methods and tools were used and further developed, from which results are presented herewith. These showed that land degradation mainly occurred as water erosion on cultivated and mixed land use. Degradation was increasing in most sites, primarily caused by inappropriate soil management. Indirectly, population pressure, insecure land tenure, and poverty appeared to be major causes of degradation. Land degradation negatively affected ecosystem services for almost all degraded areas. High negative impacts were observed regarding regulation of ecosystem services indicating that these require particular attention when developing and implementing remediation strategies. SLM measures appeared most effective on cultivated land, but positive impacts were also recorded for relatively large areas of forest and grazing land. Combinations of SLM measures appeared to perform better than single measures. Overall, there appears to be scope for improving SLM contributions to ecosystem services in cultivated land.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventThe 8th International Symposium Agro Environ 2012 - Wageningen
Duration: 1 May 20124 May 2012


ConferenceThe 8th International Symposium Agro Environ 2012

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Mapping the impact of SLM - the WOCAT - DESIRE experience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this