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Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Designated Sites









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    52 Profiles on Agroecology: Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) in Japan 2017
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    The Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) programme, launched as an initiative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2002, provides international recognition to important traditional agricultural systems (including forestry and fisheries) which conserve agrobiodiversity, indigenous knowledge, culture heritage and agricultural landscapes.
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    Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS). Combining agricultural biodiversity, resilient ecosystems, traditional farming practices and cultural identity 2018
    For centuries, farmers, herders, fishers and foresters have developed diverse and locally adapted agricultural systems managed with time tested, ingenious techniques. These practices have resulted in a vital combination of social, cultural, ecological and economic services to humankind. “Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems” (GIAHS) are outstanding landscapes of aesthetic beauty that combine agricultural biodiversity, resilient ecosystems and a valuable cultural heritage. Located in specific sites around the world, they sustainably provide multiple goods and services, food and livelihood security for millions of small-scale farmers. Through a remarkable process of coevolution of humankind and nature, such sites have emerged over centuries of cultural and biological interactions and synergies, representing the accumulated experiences of rural people. Unfortunately, these agricultural systems are threatened by many factors including climate change and increased competition for natural resources. They are also dealing with migration due to low economic viability, which has resulted in traditional farming practices being abandoned and endemic species and breeds being lost. In recognition of these global threats to family farming and traditional agricultural systems, 16 years ago FAO launched the GIAHS Programme. Aiming to strike a balance between conservation, sustainable adaptation and socioeconomic development, the GIAHS Programme helps identify ways to mitigate the threats faced from farmers as well as enhance the benefits derived by these systems. Through multi-stakeholder support, this approach aims to: provide technical assistance; boost understanding of the value of keeping alive sustainable agricultural knowledge; and promote agricultural products, agro-tourism and other incentive mechanisms and market opportunities. There are currently 50 GIAHS-designated sites in 20 countries around the world, with potentially many more to follow.
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    Project
    Promoting Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) in Developing Countries and Japan - GCP/GLO/816 /JPN 2022
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    In 2002, FAO launched the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Initiative. The initiative aims to safeguard the world’s threatened agricultural heritage by promoting the identification, conservation and international recognition of remarkable agricultural heritage sites and their associated landscapes, agricultural biodiversity, knowledge systems and cultures. As of 2017, when the project was scheduled to start, of the 38 sites that had been designated as GIAHS , 26 were located in Asia and the Pacific, while there were only three in Africa and three in Latin America and Caribbean regions. The objective of the project was to promote GIAHS in the world by facilitating the increased number of GIAHS applications from various countries, especially in areas that were geographically under represented , as mentioned above. This would be achieved by inviting relevant government officials and other stakeholders to Japan, to take part in training sessions and be provided with learning opportunities on GIAHS activities in this country. However, it was necessary to reschedule some of the training programme , as at a certain point it was no longer feasible to invite trainees from abroad, due to the outbreak of COVID 19; therefore, embassy staff of the target countries based in Japan were invited instead.

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