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

Project background

Farmers are increasingly applying commercial agricultural practices. Through a 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.

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

Component A: Operationalization of a SLM knowledge base and management system for agricultural extension service building on existing knowlege.

Component B: Knowledge-based decision support (DS) for adoption and scaling-up of climate-resilient SLM practices.

Component C: Enhancing policy framework's and incentive structures 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 Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) in Cambodia, the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI) in Lao PDR, 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

Important links

Download project leaflet

Project reports

WOCAT Global Database on SLM

WOCAT SLM Technologies and Approaches in Cambodia

WOCAT Database in Khmer version

WOCAT Books on SLM

WOCAT videos on SLM


Strengthening climate change REsearch And innovation CapaciTies in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam (REACT)

Project Background:

 Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam are some of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the effects of Climate Change, and have the lowest GDP/capita and lowest technologies to cope with climate change impacts. Extreme weather events, habitat & infrastructure destruction, rising sea levels, depleted stocks etc., all pose significant risks to regional development and need innovative targeted adaptation and mitigation solutions to face these threats. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in these countries often fail to deliver these skills & research due to lack of knowledge, skill and a lack of unified national policies to promote research culture. A disconnect between employers/companies and (HEIs) due to poorly addressed information, capacity, and incentive constraints. On the other hand, a regional development is threatened by the impacts of climate change, how to adapt and mitigate the climate change so the HEIs are required to lead the way to develop innovative and research capacity in climate change sector, particularly the climate change curriculum for HEIs. They can lead the way to reaching these solutions through the development of innovative Climate Change research and technology, and train the next generation who will carry on the torch. For this, cooperation among experts from different disciplines, institutions and countries, is key. REACT will support HEIs in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam in strengthening their capacities in effective Research & Innovation (R&I) in Climate Change and will promote regional cooperation between the three countries.

 Project Objectives:

  • To build up the human capacities of Partner HEIs to initiate, develop, manage, assess and exploit R&D in Climate Change, as well as to modernise relevant curriculum with the integration of R&D in Climate Change towards a more competence-based study programs, by means of developing a targeted training program for HEIs staff at all levels (academic, researcher, management);
  • To strengthen institutional capacity by setting up a solid, regional and competitive Multi-Disciplinary Network of Research & Academic Units in Climate Change.

Project duration: October 2016 to October 2019.

Funding source: Erasmus+

Implementing partners in Cambodia: Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) and University of Heng Samring Tboungkhmum (UHST)

Lead Partner: University of Alicante, Spain