GIAHS Stories: two decades celebrating “culture” in agriculture
Art can manifest itself in different ways. Through a sculpture, through a piece of music, through dance, and even through a plate of food. For FAO, farmers are the world’s most important artists, because for thousands of years they have sculpted our past and designed our present, shaping our future.
This October marked the first two decades of the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), an FAO programme that highlights centuries of traditions and techniques, preserving the beauty of nature in harmony with sustainable food production inherited from our ancestors. To celebrate, FAO published “Twenty Years of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems: Success Stories of Dynamic Conservation for Sustainable Rural Development”.
20 years of stories and unique perspectives
This recent publication, currently only available in English, provides a snapshot of some of the GIAHS around the world to showcase their achievements in the conservation of agricultural heritage systems. Because after 20 years since the implementation of the programme, it is time to look back and analyse how much these unique sites have changed since the designation of their systems as GIAHS. The collection presents very interesting success stories from countries such as Tanzania, China, Japan, Italy, Peru, Algeria and Spain, which has just added the mountains of León to the GIAHS list (more information here).
GIAHS environments are unique in their own right, such as the stone terrace system in the Shexian dryland region of China, which dates back to the Yuan dynasty and is used to grow millet and other cereals; or the integrated system of Lake Biwa and its surroundings, which combines traditional inland fishing with rice paddy farming in Japan.
When nature and man are in perfect harmony
Communities living in GIAHS environments have adapted to very specific challenges, taking advantage of the potential, respecting and safeguarding resources, without exploiting them. Thanks to FAO’s efforts, local communities have been able to implement innovative methods and improve the adaptive management and sustainable economic development of their agricultural systems.
These systems provide the basis for current and future agricultural innovations and technologies. Get to know them in depth, get to know the local communities and marvel at the beauty of these one-of-a-kind environments! Click here to find out more.