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Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems” (GIAHS) are outstanding landscapes of aesthetic beauty that combine agricultural biodiversity, resilient ecosystems and a valuable cultural heritage.


Located in specific sites around the world, they sustainably provide multiple goods and services, food and livelihood security for millions of small-scale farmers.


Unfortunately, these agricultural systems are threatened by many factors including climate change and increased competition for natural resources. They are also dealing with migration due to low economic viability, which has resulted in traditional farming practices being abandoned and endemic species and breeds being lost.


These ancestral agricultural systems constitute the foundation for contemporary and future agricultural innovations and technologies. Their cultural, ecological and agricultural diversity is still evident in many parts of the world, maintained as unique systems of agriculture.


Chinampa Agriculture in the World Natural and Cultural Heritage Zone in Xochimilco, Tláhuac and Milpa Alta, Mexico 2017

The chinampa agricultural system is an articulated set of floating artificial islands built in a traditional way 2,000 years ago, which reached its maximum expansion during the Aztec civilization.  [...]



Nishi-Awa Steep Slope Land Agriculture System, Japan 2018

Nishi-Awa area is one of Japan’s leading areas for controlled burn agriculture, and the cultivation of grains as staple foods has been widespread in the Nishi-Awa area since ancient times. [...]