This is the first time that a global, baseline status report on land and water resources has been made. It is based on several global spatial databases (e.g. land suitability for agriculture, land use and management, land and water degradation and depletion) for which FAO is the world-recognized data source. Topical and emerging issues on land and water are dealt with in an integrated rather than sectoral manner. The implications of the status and trends are used to advocate remedial interventions which are tailored to major farming systems within different geographic regions.