23 May 2012, Tokyo/Rome - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva met today with Mr. Tanimoto, Governor of Ishikawa prefecture of Japan, at FAO Headquarters in Rome. During the visit, Director-General Graziano da Silva welcomed the proposal by Governor Tanimoto to host the 2013 Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) International Forum at the Ishikawa prefecture in Japan.
GIAHS is an international partnership initiative that identifies and recognizes unique traditional agricultural systems, together with their agricultural biodiversity, culture, and knowledge systems, and highlights ways in which they can contribute to guarantee security of food and livelihoods throughout the world. This innovative strategy aims at empowering small holder farmers, indigenous peoples, and local communities, while at the same time assisting them to derive economic benefits from the conservation of agricultural biodiversity.
The GIAHS International Forum is held every two years. The objective of the Forum is to exchange knowledge and experiences on the significance of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems from different countries, and to take stock of the lessons learned. The previous Forum was held in June 2011, at Crab Island, Beijing, in collaboration with the Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other partners.
At the 2011 GIAHS International Forum in Beijing, the Noto peninsula of Ishikawa prefecture and Sado island of Niigata prefecture were designated as the first and second GIAHS sites in developed countries.
Noto’s site is named “Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi” and it is considered a microcosm of Japan’s satoyama and satoumi managed socio-ecological production landscapes. The GIAHS project in Noto aims to better integrate human activities of fishing, farming, and forestry that have traditionally been practiced on the peninsula over the past 1300 years. One well-known regional tradition is that of Oku-noto Aenokoto, an agricultural rice planting and harvest ritual unique to the Noto region and included on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009.
The 2013 Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems International Forum to be hosted in Japan’s Ishikawa prefecture is envisioned as an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences on the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems from different countries. The Forum will also take stock of the lessons learned and promote opportunities to support countries in achieving their international commitments in the field of conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity and genetic resources.
Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems web site