WOCAT season's greetings 2016/2017

Dear WOCAT colleagues and friends,

Season’s greetings!

The WOCAT Secretariat would like to thank you for your great collaboration in 2016, and for your valuable work in the Network.

The outgoing year 2016 was marked by new and wider partnerships through the initiation of new projects with national and international partners for building a global knowledge management and decision support platform.

A key focus was put on the revamp and launch of the Global Database on SLM in August 2016, which is the primary recommended database by UNCCD on best SLM practices. The database is used by a myriad of institutions and projects at the local, national and global level including the UNCCD Parties.

The new publication 'Making sense of research for sustainable land management' of WOCAT and partners was launched at the Rio Pavilion at the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP13) in Cancun, Mexico, in December 2016.

Key events in 2017 will be: the 18th WOCAT Network Meeting (WNM) in Cali, Colombia, hosted by the Consortium Partner CIAT (13th until 16th of June - the official announcement will be sent out soon); and the 13th session of the UNCCD Conference of Parties (COP13) in Inner Mongolia, China in September.

Furthermore, the WOCAT website will appear in a fresh look, containing a WOCATpedia and country / initiative-specific webpages. Further information will be disseminated as soon as the official launch of the new website is communicated.

Staff changes at the Secretariat: The current WOCAT Secretariat Coordinator, Isabelle Providoli, will be leaving the Secretariat after six years. We thank her for her commitment and efforts to further the institutional set-up and improve the coordination of the Network. We wish her all the best for her continued work at the Centre for Development and Environment. We are pleased to welcome a new Coordinator, Renate Fleiner, in January 2017. Furthermore, the Secretariat team was reinforced since September 2016 by Alexandra Gavilano, Research Associate.

All these achievements and the continuation of WOCAT would not be possible without the past and continued support from our consortium partners and donors. We would like to thank all of them, as well as all the Network members. WOCAT has achieved a lot and this would not have been possible without your support and engagement!

We are looking forward to our further collaboration and wish you a happy and prosperous 2017!

Warm regards,

WOCAT Secretariat

Hanspeter Liniger, Isabelle Providoli, Rima Mekdaschi Studer, Nina Lauterburg, Nicole Harari, Mats Gurtner, Alexandra Gavilano, Deborah Niggli

New publication 'Making sense of research for sustainable land management' of WOCAT and partners.
Lake Paradise (Marsabit National Park), Kenya (Photo by Hanspeter Liniger)