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.


GIAHS short movie - from GIAHS application to designation

With the support of the Japanese government, FAO has created a short movie to explain what is GIAHS. The video introduces what GIAHS is, how many sites are designated, and explains how they are recognized, taking one example of Wakayama prefecture in Japan. Not only does the video illustrate the process to the recognition, it also highlights the importance of conservation, passing it on to the future generations.

The Report of the 5th International Forum on GIAHS, Rome, Italy at FAO Headquarters on 19th April, 2018

GIAHS Secretariat has compiled the report of the 5th International Forum on GIAHS. For the full report, please click here.


Did you know?

  •  There are 52 GIAHS sites in 21 countries
  • Six GIAHS sites located in China, Philippines, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates,
    Iran and Republic of Korea are also UNESCO World Heritage sites

  • Since its inception in 2002, the GIAHS programme has built a strong local and
    international reputation in the fields of agricultural heritage and agricultural development

  • Some GIAHS sites in china have embraced new technologies by engaging with e-business
    companies like Alibaba to promote their agricultural heritage products