The GIAHS Programme
Worldwide, specific agricultural systems and landscapes have been created, shaped and maintained by generations of farmers and herders based on diverse natural resources, using locally adapted management practices.
Building on local knowledge and experience, these ingenious agri-cultural systems reflect the evolution of humankind, the diversity of its knowledge, and its profound relationship with nature.
These systems have resulted not only in outstanding landscapes, maintenance and adaptation of globally significant agricultural biodiversity, indigenous knowledge systems and resilient ecosystems, but also food and livelihood security for millions of poor and small farmers in a sustainable manner.
In order to safeguard and support the world’s agri-cultural heritage systems, in 2002 FAO started an initiative for identification and the dynamic conservation of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage systems (GIAHS).
This GIAHS Initiative which is now GIAHS Programme promotes public understanding, awareness, national and international recognition of Agricultural Heritage systems.
Looking to safeguard the social, cultural, economic and environmental goods and services these provide to family farmers, smallholders, indigenous peoples and local communities, the programme fosters an integrated approach combining sustainable agriculture and rural development.