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Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Agricultural Heritage System in Serra Do Espinhaço Meridional in Minas Gerais

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Summary

The Agricultural Heritage System in Serra Do Espinhaço Meridional in Minas Gerais system combines different altitudes, soils, climates and much biodiversity associated with different edaphoclimatic characteristics and a wide range of traditional knowledge on the use of these natural resources, generating different agro-environments. The system has also gone through adverse social, political, economic and  environmental situations. As a result, we have unique managed landscapes, abundant water, a hotspot of native biodiversity, vast agrobiodiversity and considerable cultural density.

In practice, the combination of agriculture, grazing and extractivism in the system developed here has given rise to polycultures controlled by rural families in areas of native vegetation; agroforestry gardening with a high density of food species and small animals of local breeds raised around the houses; larger rustic livestock in native fields on common-use lands in the highlands; and extraction/management of native flora species at different altitudes for food,traditional medicine, festivities, domestic construction and ornamental plants for sale. These communities’ traditional way of life feeds a rich agricultural and biocultural heritage in a beautiful managed landscape.