FAO.org

Home > Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) > GIAHS around the world > Proposed sites > Europe and Central Asia > Historical Waterscape of l’Horta de València
Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Historical Waterscape of l’Horta de València

Summary

Detailed Information

Partners

Annexes

Summary

“The Huerta of València”, henceforth L’Horta, is a historical region of the Valencian Community, formed by a system of orchards irrigated by the Turia river, from where a system of irrigation channels, originally designed in medieval times, spreads over the area. The territory extends around the City of València and contains dozens of municipalities in the North, West and South ends of the Metropolitan region. Geographically, it is a plain that rises slowly from the sea inland. L’Horta, as a potential GIAHS site, is the result of:

i) a historical structure, dating from centuries ago, based on an irrigation network (acequies), rural roads, farmhouses, etc. that define their physical heritage;

ii) an agricultural system, rich in Mediterranean crops, that originates and coexists with this structure and configures a changing scenery throughout the seasons;

iii) a hydraulic culture represented by water use institutions such as the Real Acequia de Moncada and the Tribunal de las Aguas. It is a territory where, over the centuries, the Valencian farming community has built a unique landscape, whose value surpasses the strictly productive and grants this potential GIAHS site the status of a historical witness and a millennial legacy.

The potential GIAHS site is completed with the Albufera, a natural park where rice and artisanal fishing contribute to a living and vulnerable system. is one of the most relevant Mediterranean Huerta landscapes, a space of proven productive, environmental, cultural, and visual values, in spite of pressures from urbanization. Its traditional management fully fits with the new streams of sustainable development such as the circular economy, enabling the continued use of the territory without depletion or damage.