Approaches and Technologies on Sustainable Land Management

About LaoCAT

Scaling-up Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices by smallholder farmers: working with agricultural extension services to identify, assess and disseminate SLM practices

In a nutshell

Project aims
 Improve the resilience of smallholder farmers to climate change shocks
 Build capacities of agricultural extension services to identify and document climate-resilient
 SLM practices Build up a national SLM database
 Support smallholder farmers in adopting climate-resilient SLM practices
 Improve policy and incentive frameworks for scaling-up SLM

Project partners
The project is implemented by the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) of the University of Bern, Switzerland, hosting the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) Secretariat, in collaboration with three national partners: the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI) in Lao PDR, the Royal University of Agriculture in Cambodia, and the Uganda Landcare Network in Uganda. The project works in close collaboration with IFAD-supported loan investments in the three countries.

Project duration: February 2016 – March 2019

Funding: The project is supported and financed by the International


Farmers are increasingly applying commercial agricultural practices. Through greater use of agricultural inputs and the overexploitation of natural resources, they are trying to maximize profits in the short term. This leads to an erosion of their natural resource base. The impact on their land and livelihood is severe and is further challenged by climate change. Establishing SLM practices is an alternative for smallholder farmers to meet market demands in a sustainable manner and build resilience to climate change.
Many innovative SLM practices exist, often developed by smallholder farmers themselves. However, only a few of these practices are documented in a standardized way. It is essential to evaluate existing and innovative SLM practices, identify their specific agro-ecologic conditions, their impacts and benefits, and understand how the practices react to a changing climate. This information helps to make decisions on which SLM practices to promote.

Overall goal and Expected outcomes

The overall goal of the project is to enhance the resilience of communities and their smallholder farmers to climate change shocks as well as pressures exerted by population growth, rapid urbanization, and economic expansion.

The project:
 Supports agriculture extension services to scale up SLM practices following a certain methodology. This methodology will be integrated into the IFAD-supported loan investment programme.
 Helps farmers in the districts of the IFAD programme to adopt SLM practices and improve their climate resilience.
 Establishes a national SLM policy dialog forum and platform to improve policy and incentive frameworks for scaling up SLM.

Capacity building and tools

The project develops the capacities of agriculture extension staff to use the participatory WOCAT tools and methods for knowledge management and decision support in SLM. The tools include: the Questionnaires on SLM Technologies and Approaches and related Global Database on SLM (; the mapping tool to map land degradation and SLM; and the SLM decision support tool.These tools and methods are widely used by many organizations worldwide. The Global Database on SLM is recognized by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and is used by UNCCD Member States to report their SLM Best Practices.NAFRI will organize Trainings of Trainers (ToTs) to create a cadre of extension workers fully knowledgeable in using WOCAT tools and methods.

Institutional setting

The CDE, hosting the WOCAT Secretariat, is responsible for the overall project coordination and implementation in the three countries. At national level, the project partner NAFRI is responsible for the coordination and implementation of project activities with agricultural extension services. NAFRI works closely with the IFAD-supported loan investment, the Southern Laos Food and Nutrition Security and Market Linkages Programme (FNML) Smallholder Adaptation to Climate Change Component (SACCC) to enhance country operations and to embed SLM tools and methodologies into existing local/national extension systems. Within the framework of the SLM policy dialogue forum and platform the project collaborates with relevant national and international institutions active in the field of SLM.

Contact details

NAFRI: Mr. Khamphone Mounlamai Director of Planning and Cooperation Division
CDE/WOCAT Secretariat: Nicole HarariProject coordinator
CDE office Vientiane: Stéphanie JaquetProject coordination support Lao PDR&Cambodia
Address: Unit 11, #136, Simuang Road, Hom 1 Ban Phapo, Vientiane, Lao PDR
Phone : +856 30 988 1648

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