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GIAHS Side Events at Rio+20: GIAHS and the future we want

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 27 June 2012

The "Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems", or GIAHS, have a lot to tell on the future we need. An FAO-led event held at the Mountain Pavilion on 21 June 2012 presented some of the answers that heritage systems have to offer to key topics at the heart of Rio+20.

What we now commonly refer to as "biodiversity conservation" and "food security" is the result of carefully developed practices, selected by farmers and herders, generation after generation. Over millennia, a wealth of family and community managed agricultural systems have grown to represent humanity’s common heritage. Standing the test of time, they have developed into complex, ingenious combinations of locally adapted practices striking a balance among conservation, adaptation and socio-economic development. 

Established by FAO in Rio+10 (i.e. at the World Summit on sustainable development held in Johannesburg in 2002), GIAHS is an important partnership dealing with remarkable land use systems and landscapes. With food security, health and nutrition among the selection criteria, over 200 agricultural heritage systems have been identified on the GIAHS web site. Often the result of ancestral practices, these hold a variety of solutions and assets for "the future we want".