Introductory session on national level award for Innovative SLM Technologies and Approaches for Sustainable Agriculture in Sri Lanka held on 10 February 2021 at the Ministry of Environment

Rehabilitation of Degraded Agricultural Lands (RDAL) in Kandy, Badulla and NuwaraEliya in Central Highlands is a project implemented by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management Centre (NRMC) of the Department of Agriculture.

Promote strategies and create awareness to mainstream sustainable land management is a core mandate of the RDAL project. The project has planned to conduct a national level award giving ceremony to acknowledge new innovations and promote best practices related to SLM in Sri Lanka. An introductory session about the national award giving ceremony was held on 10.02.2021 at the Ministry of Environment and the the event was organized to brief participants from government, private and individual stakeholder about application process and other proceedings.


Event Resource Materials

Presentation on introduction to RDALP, and SLM Technologies and Approaches implemented in the project

Presentation on introduction to SriCAT and role of NRMC in the project

Presentation on introduction to WOCAT and RDALP’s initiative to document SLM practices through SriCAT

Presentation on UNCCD


The Project aims at reversing and arresting land degradation in agricultural lands in aforesaid districts in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, by increasing the provision of ecosystems goods and services and enhancing food security through the promotion of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices. The project consists of four components, i.e. strengthening policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks for SLM; Implementation of the identified land restoration technologies in the affected areas of the three districts through a participatory approach; Support the development and implementation of an innovative funding mechanism to promote SLM, and Knowledge management, awareness raising and dissemination of best practices.

RDAL project has developed information sharing platform on SLM namely Sri Lanka Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (SriCAT) - to promote knowledge management and experience sharing on SLM best practices in Sri Lanka. This website will be further developed as the Sri Lanka’s National Land Information Sharing Platform. The website has been designed in the same format of the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) -  

WOCAT provides standardized, user-driven, open-access, globally used tools and methods for the documentation and assessment of sustainable land management practices. SLM in the context of WOCAT is defined as the sustainable use of land resources – including soils, water, vegetation, and animals. WOCAT focuses on efforts to prevent and reduce land degradation and restore degraded land through improved land management technologies and approaches. All practices may be considered, whether they are indigenous, newly introduced through projects, or recent innovations by land users. All information documented through WOCAT questionnaires is made available in the Global SLM Database and can be used to spread SLM knowledge and improve decision-making for further implementation and dissemination of SLM practices.

RDAL trying to promote similar documentation and information sharing platform to promote knowledge management and experience sharing on SLM best practices in Sri Lanka. The project has decided to conduct a national level competition to encourage government, private and individuals like farmers to share their experience and innovations related to SLM technologies and approaches. The SriCAT website will be an ideal platform to document and promote SLM best practices including local and international experience and knowledge. The SriCAT website will be hosted by the NRMC in future and constantly updated with the inputs from relevant government, private and community organizations, and individuals around the island. The website will also be used to share the progress information on United Nations Conventions for Combating Desertification (UNCCD) activities of Sri Lanka.  


The main objective of the program was to introduce WOCAT methodology to government and private stakeholders in Sri Lanka who have been involved or interested in promoting SLM, and to emphasize the importance of documenting SLM practices in Sri Lanka. A proper database like WOCAT and similar method of appraisal and documentation of SLM best practices is a vital need to introduce prevention, mitigation and conservations measures in Sri Lanka.

The WOCAT questionnaire is a comprehensive format to compile detailed information about globally available best SLM technologies and approaches. The RDAL project has already discussed with the WOCAT to confirm their consent and support to conduct local assessment according to WOCAT method and publish best practice in their global database. It will pave a way to expose innovative local practices in global platforms and receive international reputation. The participants were provided with basic idea on the process and steps involved in WOCAD method of assessment and documentation of SLM best practices, and brief introduction about key concepts related to SLM which will help them during the application to national level competition.






Welcome speech and opening remarks

·     Welcome participants

·     Importance of having a national level SLM database

·     Importance of collaborative effort to promote SLM

Mr. W.D.S.C. Weliwatta, Additional Secretary - Natural Resources

Introduction to RDALP, and SLM Technologies and Approaches implemented in the project

·     Objectives of RDALP

·     Project activities

·     Project implementation strategy

·     SLM technologies and approaches demonstrated in the project

·     Introduction to national award ceremony

·     Promotion and use of ICT in agriculture

Mr. Nimal Gunasena, National Project Manager

Introduction to SriCAT and role of NRMC in the project

·     Objective of SriCAT

·     Main components of SriCAT (Website, Facebook and YouTube) 

·     Potential benefits as a national level information sharing platform

·     Expected supports from likeminded organization for a smooth functioning

·     Role of NRMC as a hosting organization

·     How to submit information to update in SriCAT

Dr. A.G. Chandrapala, Assistant Director of Agriculture
Ms. Samudika Weththasinghe, Research Assistant
Ms. Prabani Wasundara, Research Assistant

Presentation –
Introduction to WOCAT and RDALP’s initiative to document SLM practices through SriCAT

·     Introduction to WOACT

·     Vision and Mission

·     Regional and international affiliations of WOCAT

·     Introduction to LADA assessment approach

·     Global and national trend of land degradation

·     Definition of land and land use in Sri Lanka

·     Differences between SLM technology and SLM approach

·     Introduction to WOCAT questionnaire and documentation process

·     Examples of SLM technology and approaches from WOCAT database 

Mr. K.M.A. Kendaragama, Freelance Agriculture Scientist, Natural Resource Management

Presentation on UNCCD

·     Introduction to National Action Program (NAP) for combating land degradation in SL

·     Key activities under NAP

·     Importance of reviewing progress

Ms. Nilmini Wickramarachchi, Director - Land Resources

Closing remarks and vote of thanks

·     Overview of collaboration between MoE and RDAL to establish this national level information sharing platform

·     How to submit information to SriCAT

·     Vote of thanks to participants

Ms.W.A.H. De Costa, Assistant Director - Land Resources


National Level Award

A national level award giving ceremony will be conducted to acknowledge the best innovative approaches and technologies. The best approach and technology will be selected by an expert committee appointed by the ministry and the project. 

Best 10 technologies and 5 approaches will be documented according to WOCAT method and will be published and made available in international information sharing platforms like WOCAT.

 A guideline for SLM best practices will be developed based on the information collected from the identified best technologies and approaches and published as a book.


Step 01: Virtual initial meeting with stakeholders and interested parties to build their awareness on WOCAT documentation procedures.

Step 02: SLM technologies and approaches practiced by stakeholders and interested parties around the Island will be collected with the support of Ministry of Environment. 

Step 03: Innovative/ effective technologies and approaches suitable to document under the WOCAT method will be selected by an expert committee.

Step 04: Document selected technologies and approaches and develop guideline for SLM best practices.

Step 05: National level awarding ceremony will be conducted under the patronage of Secretary, Ministry of environment to felicitate best innovative approaches and technologies.  

Step 06: All received intervention will be upload in SriCAT