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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO and Japan agree on importance of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems for sustainability and food security

FAO Director-General meets Japan’s vice-minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
FAO Director-General with Japan’s Vice-minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Hidemichi Sato.

19 September 2014, Rome - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today met Japan’s Vice-minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Hidemichi Sato, at FAO Headquarters in Rome.

FAO Director-General congratulated the Minister for his recent appointment and reiterated FAO’s availability to continue its cooperation with Japan on issues of common interest.

These include bolstering the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage systems (GIAHS), an initiative started by FAO in 2002 in order to safeguard and support the world’s agri-cultural heritage systems. Japan is a major active and plays a large role in the program.

Across the world there are numerous agricultural systems and landscapes with specific cultural importance that have been created, shaped and maintained by generations of farmers and herders based on diverse natural resources, using locally adapted management practices.

FAO Director-General welcomed Japan’s strong leadership for the dynamic conservation and promotion of the GIAHS and noted how these are “deeply linked to local culture and agricultural practices.”

“GIAHS are also a good way of stimulating tourism while maintaining traditional agriculture systems,” minister Sato said, adding that these systems tend to be environmentally friendly and able to engage local governments in agricultural initiatives.  

“I have expressed my deepest respect to the contributions made by FAO over the years for the development of global agriculture as well as for the eradication of hunger,” minister Sato said in remarks after the meeting.

International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition

FAO Director-General and Minister Sato met in Rome on the sidelines of the International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition being held at FAO headquarters.

“This is an initiative of great importance. There is a strong linkage between agriculture, ecology and the global environment,” the minister said. He noted the importance of knowledge-sharing in this field “to ensure agricultural development while at the same time guaranteeing the sustainability of the environment.”