Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Traditional Farming System in Dong Van Karst Plateau Global GeoPark



The agricultural system involves 17 ethnic groups in the DVKPGG growing corn and other crops, raising animals and caring for forests for several hundred years in the harsh physical Karst terrain in Dong Van Karst Plateau, located in Ha Giang province in northeast Viet Nam. The DVKPGG is a globally recognized geopark and part of UNESCO Geopark Network.

The agricultural system involves ingenuous practices of conserving and managing limited land in the interstices of a rocky terrain, for purposes of food production and livelihoods. Soil conservation is accompanied by adaptive land preparation, while an age-old multiple cropping system minimizes the loss of fertility, maintains resilience and diversifies income sources. In addition, soil fertility is improved by abandoning the soil during winter.

The system supports the maintenance of biodiversity (in forests and agricultural land). It has high agrobiodiversity and is supported by local knowledge passed on through generations as well as customs and traditions. Overall, the system is manifested by a remarkable landscape characterized by diverse geomorphic forms of Karst as well as pockets of agriculture and forest in a predominantly rocky landscape.