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Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) / FAO
Over centuries, generations of farmers, fisher folks and herders have developed complex, diverse and locally adapted agricultural systems with time-tested technologies. These systems have not only provided multiple goods and services for rural communities, but also created, maintained and inherited remarkable knowledge, outstanding rural landscapes, globally significant agricultural biodiversity and unique cultures. In 2002, FAO started an initiative for the conservation of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), in order to promote public understanding, awareness, national and international recognition of these systems.
The concept of GIAHS is distinct from, and more complex than, a conventional heritage site or protected area/landscape. It is rather a living, evolving system of human communities in an intricate relationship with their territory, cultural or agricultural landscape or biophysical and wider social environment. The humans and their livelihood activities have continually adapted to the potentials and constraints of the environment and also shaped the landscape and the biological environment to different degrees. The resilience of many GIAHS sites has been developed and adapted to cope with climatic variability and change, natural hazards, new technologies and changing social and political situations, so as to ensure food and livelihood security and alleviate risk.
By coping with challenges of today and tomorrow, GIAHS with its contribution to achieving UN SDGs is gaining positive momentum and upscaling worldwide.
Technologies from Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) / FAO