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Pu’er Tea Agricultural System. Proposal of Candidate System for the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Programme

Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)









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    Aohan Dryland Farming System. Proposal for the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Programme
    Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)
    2011
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    Aohan County is located in the southeast of Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. It is the interface between China’s ancient farming culture and grassland culture. From 2001 to 2003, carbonized particles of foxtail and broomcorn millet were discovered by archaeologists in the “First Village of China”, Xinglongwa in Aohan County. These grains dating from 7700 to 8000 years ago are proved to be the earliest relics of cultivated foxtail and broomcorn millets known to the world. Be cause millets are grown on dryland slopes, their plant type is small, which makes it difficult to use mechanized farming methods. That’s why traditional techniques have prevailed until now. As a result, many skills and experiences have been accumulated over the long years of farming practice, and unique local dry farming cultures have been formed, including farming proverbs, food cultures and seasonal customs. These have been inherited for generations. Nevertheless, due to the effects of modern economic, social, and value changes, this traditional farming culture is facing threats and challenges from various sources. It is urgent to explore the values of this important system and protect itin a dynamic way.
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    Traditional Dong’s Rice-Fish-Duck Agroecosystem in Southeast Guizhou, China. Proposal for the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Programme
    Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)
    2010
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    As one of the outstanding representatives of Chinese traditional alpine agriculture, Rice-Fish-Duck Agro-ecosystem can date back to Eastern Han Dynasty. Within thousands of years, this farming practice has been handed down by minority communities of Guizhou, Hunan, and Guangxi Province, particularly by Dong people of Southwest Guizhou. This agro-ecosystem is an evolving result from co-evolution of human culture and natural environment, and it developed an extraordinary living model of sustainab le use of water and soil resources. Dong people in Southwest of Guizhou used to cultivating rice and simultaneously stocking fish and duck, which in nature is a kind of wisdom condensed by countless agricultural practice. Different in approaches but equally satisfactory in results, Traditional Dong’s Rice-Fish-Duck Agro-ecosystem and modern organic, vertical and ecological agriculture stand on the same footing in terms of sustainable produce concepts and techniques. They both stress importance t o high-efficiency, low toxicity and healthy food. Xianghe glutinous rice is one of those excellent products of Rice-Fish-Duck model. However, due to the influence of modern economic and societal change, traditional values gradually fade away, whist the excellent agricultural traditional culture confronted with threats and challenges from many aspects. Immediate action should be taken to conservation it. Values of this system need to be explored and assessed.
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    Siwa Oasis, Egypt. Proposal for Declaration as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS)
    Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)
    2016
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    This document proposes to recognize and designate Siwa oasis in the northwestern Desert of Egypt as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Site (GIAHS) under the respective FAO program. Siwa is a globally significant in situ repository of plant genetic resources, especially of uniquely adapted varieties of date palm, olive and secondary crops that are highly esteemed for their quality and continue to play a significant role in rural livelihoods, both for nutrition and income. Situated in a r emote region of the Sahara, and surrounded by breathtaking desert landscapes, Siwa oasis is distinguished by a range of archaeological treasures that testify to the long history of the oasis at the crossroads of ancient trade routes, going back to Pharaonic and Ptolemaic epochs. Its long isolation from outside influences, a population tracing its origin to Berber civilization and speaking an indigenous language, and environmental constraints have given Siwa a unique local culture embodied by its mud-salt brick architecture, peculiar social institutions and a rich heritage of handicrafts. Challenges to oasis agriculture, biodiversity and cultural identity are currently effectively addressed by a number of national and local initiatives, including sustainable agricultural practices, improved irrigation management, the protection of wildlife in and around the oasis as well as sustainable tourism.

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