The Earth is dotted with a myriad of home-grown agricultural systems that are humanity’s common heritage. These systems provide essential ecosystem goods and services and food security for millions of local community members and indigenous peoples, well beyond their borders.
Major target beneficiaries are family farmers, small holder farmers, indigenous peoples and tribal communities. Special emphasis will be placed on the specific roles of women including youth as custodians and beneficiaries of biodiversity and as protagonists of household food security. Ultimately, a long term open ended programme that could encompass 100 to 150 Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems worldwide is envisaged.
A major outcome of the GIAHS Initiative is the contribution to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Article 10c: protect and encourage customary use of biological resources in accordance with traditional cultural practices that are compatible with conservation or sustainable use requirements, specifically within agricultural systems; and Article 8j: respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.