The World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) is a global Network that was established in 1992. The WOCAT Network launched efforts to compile, document, evaluate, share, disseminate, and apply sustainable land management (SLM) knowledge. It was far ahead of others in recognizing the vital importance of SLM and the pressing need for corresponding knowledge management. In early 2014, WOCAT’s growth and ongoing improvement culminated in its being officially recognized by the UNCCD as the primary recommended Global SLM Database for best practices. The work of WOCAT is guided by the WOCAT Strategy which is a product of experiences gathered in the WOCAT programme since its launch.
WOCAT played an essential role in moving away from a land degradation focus towards SLM, defining SLM and its measures. The global relevance of WOCAT is shown by the frequent use of its global SLM database, the WOCAT definitions, and the standardized WOCAT methods and tools, by various institutions and initiatives. WOCAT is widely used and referenced, so for example in the UNCCD Science-PolicyInterface (SPI) report on Sustainable Land Management contribution to successful land-based climate change adaptation and mitigation, in the IPBES assessment report on land degradation and restoration, and in the EC JRC World Atlas of Desertification for which the part on solutions was prepared in collaboration with WOCAT.