What is the purpose?
The national/regional report constitutes the
core part of the Gateway network. It aims to promote accessibility
to and exchanges of information among the Gateway users, including
decision-makers, planners, scientists and rural land users,
on the state and trends of land, water and plant nutrition resources.
National reports should be compiled by national institutions
in the context of a regional report which discusses specific
issues of the region to which the countries belong to. The collection
of regional reports in turn should be considered as ingredients
for a global prospective on the state of land, water and plant
What are the principles of the report?
The report needs to be concise and to the
Lets assure that this is a gateway. More
important than giving too much detail on certain information
is to provide reliable meta-data (title, year, data provider,
place of data origin, etc.), rich references and well-sorted
related Internet links. Clarify technical terms with definitions.
Also, provide notes on methodology on how information has been
generated. When FAO approach and methodology cannot be used,
use data gathered by other methodologies with an indication
of that methodology. Avoid or eliminate contradictions between
the different sections of the report. Pay attention to quality
control and harmonization of information between the sections.
Consistency between data systems within and between countries
and programmes is necessary. Please consult and collaborate
with other national and regional institutions involved in similar
activities and establish electronic communication linkages among
The report needs to be easily understandable,
reliable and accurate in content.
Pay attention that the information in the form
of maps, tables, charts and photographic images is comprehensible,
colour being distinguished and legends readable. The information
has to be reasonably up-to-date, and not obsolete. This requires
both constant updating in content and an indication of "when
The report has to be attractive.
Stand in the shoes of visitors. Whatever the
differences in graphic and editorial taste may be, the report
has to look in such a way that it encourages visitors to surf
through with due comfort and curiosity. Try making it look interesting!
How does the report operate?
Each institution should prepare its own information
and upload it on a local Internet server using the common HTML
framework or Internet Template, thus creating an in situ web
site. The site will then be networked to the AGL Gateway through
a hyperlink. FAO takes care of updating the Gateway Home Page
as new country profiles become available. Each institution is
responsible for updating the contents of the report including
the newly found related Internet links.
What is the structure of the report?
The report consists of two categories:
1. Regional report
2. Country report
The Regional report introduces issues relevant
to the region. The Country report introduces issues pertaining
to the country's state of land, water and plant nutrition resources.
The content of both categories of report is similar and is based
on the eight (8) sections introduced below.
The actual structure of the report is shown
in the Checklist items. The checklist
items have been elaborated in interaction with specialists from
national institutions all over the world and are valid for national
and regional reports. They constitute a general framework within
which existing information can be inserted. This is to ensure
that reports will be comparable along the lines of common themes,
such as land use and degradation, state of water resources,
hot spots and bright spots.
There are eight (8) sections. Specifically,
1. Country overview
2. Land resources
3. Water resources
4. Plant nutrient resources
5. Hot spots
6. Bright spots
7. Challenges and viewpoints
8. References / Related internet
From this menu list it is possible to jump
to the respective sections which respectively show a sub-menu
list showing subsections.
Besides the main content of the country report
is also included a section dedicated to the References. It contains
a bibliographic reference plus eventual links to publications,
papers and articles available on the web either for viewing
or direct download. The latter case implies that the files are
properly checked and stored on the local server, in order to
preserve the integrity of the software to be downloaded (avoid
hyperlinking on remote servers to files whose integrity and
virus-free status are not assured).
The same section includes Related Internet
sites with the purpose of collecting hyperlinks to websites
that host any relevant information about the main topics of
the report. On selecting the sites to hyperlink, pay attention
to the specific content of every website. Avoid any redundancy
of information and clearly indicate the source of the data:
institution, year of publication, purpose (commercial, governmental,
NGO, etc.). Give brief annotation. Regularly search the Internet
to find more sites concerning the arguments of interest.
What information should be included?
The standard contents of the report are suggested
in Checklist items. It can be partially
modified to suit specific needs and pertinence to each country/region.
If the information is not available or is not
relevant for the area considered, the item content should be
left empty in the report, or information may be added at a later
date once it is available.
The checklist items will be updated from time
to time as more experience is gained. As information becomes
available and topical issues change (discussed in the challenges/viewpoint
section), the report can be updated, new sections inserted and
new links made. Combining information and presenting it in this
format will make it more useful and also more easily used by
decision makers and users.
The report is thus a 'live' document. Where
possible, information should not merely be presented as static
data but in the form of trends, preferably in a visual format
(maps, tables, charts, images).
In what form should information be presented?
Information is presented in the forms of texts,
maps, tables, charts (graphs) and photographs. Make sure there
is no redundancy or inconsistency among pieces of information
in different forms.
How to start editing?
In theory, the checklist directly becomes the
Internet Template for preparing the web pages. The checklist
can be used as it is for the Main page of the report. The work
of compilation becomes replacing the content of the checklist
with the actual content of the regional and the country report.
The HTML template is available for download:
(zipped 95 KB)
Spanish template (zipped 106
on the structure of the template (Word doc 29 KB)
Reports prepared by the institutions that have
participated in this network should be reviewed on line as models.
The first modification to do is to type the
name of the country in the Home Page and substitute the dummy
flag with the country national flag (flags of all countries
are available digitized at this address: http://www.theodora.com/flags/
). To insert new text-based information in the Main page, it
is only necessary to open the Main page with any HTML editor
and start adding the text. Supporting materials (maps, tables,
graphs, and photos, etc.) are to be included separately in the
supporting material pages. The text in the Main page should
include hyperlinks to these supporting material pages.