WOCAT season's greetings 2015/2016

Dear WOCAT colleagues and friends,

Season’s greetings!

The WOCAT Secretariat would like to thank you for your great collaboration, and for your valuable work in the Network. The outgoing year 2015 was an important one for WOCAT. The new institutional set-up of the WOCAT Network entered into effect and was launched at the UNCCD 3rd Scientific Conference in Cancún (Mexico) and at the WOCAT Symposium and 17th WOCAT Network Meeting in Feldafing (Germany). Furthermore, WOCAT was present at the Global Soil Week in Germany and at the UNCCD COP12 (Conference of the Parties) in Ankara (Turkey). Through these events, the collaboration between the WOCAT Network members and partners have been further strengthened.

A new WOCAT strategy for the phase 2015-2018 was formulated. This strategy is the product of experiences gathered in the WOCAT programme since its inauguration in 1992. It is a result of evaluation and consultation with partners on the future of the programme.

At the COP12 WOCAT (as the primary recommended database by UNCCD) presented the new reporting system on SLM Best Practices and collected feedback from the countries (more feedback will be collected at the beginning of next year). In 2016, the new WOCAT Best Practice database will go online. Furthermore, tool development and the development of a new website will be a key priority during the next years. More and more projects ask for user friendly tools that allow assessment, monitoring and analysis of SLM practices in order to produce guidelines for upscaling SLM.  

All these achievements and the continuation of WOCAT is not possible without the past and continued support of our donors. Therefore we are happy to announce that SDC just confirmed its support for the next 4 years and also GIZ made a major contribution to support the global WOCAT database development. WOCAT has achieved a lot which would not have been possible without the support and engagement of the whole Network.

We are looking forward to our further collaboration and we wish you a happy and prosperous 2016!

Warm regards,

WOCAT Secretariat

Hanspeter Liniger, Isabelle Providoli, Rima Mekdaschi Studer, Nina Lauterburg, Nicole Harari, Mats Gurtner

Central Asia (Photo by Hanspeter Liniger, 2009)