Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme unveils new GIAHS ambassadors

Beijing, China, 1 October 2014

Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) Department of International Cooperation (DIC) Counsel Qu Sixi congratulated 23 participants from 12 countries in Asia and the Pacific who attended the South-South Cooperation’s Symposium on Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), which was held from 14 to 27 September 2014 in China.

The GIAHS Symposium featured the First High-Level training course on the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) – Think Globally, Act Locally, which was organized by the Department of International Cooperation and the Center of International Cooperation Services (CICOS), MOA China and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) within the framework of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme.

The GIAHS Symposium and the training lectures on the GIAHS Initiative, conceptual and methodological framework, contemporary development and lessons learned was held in Beijing and followed by field trips to the GIAHS Sites: Qingtian Rice Fish Culture, Xuanhua Grape Gardens, the Longjing tea culture system (Nationally Important Agricultural Heritage System), Xinghua Duotian Agrosystem and the Jiangsu International Agri-expo 2014.

During the awarding of the certificates, Mr Qu addressed the participants: “When you arrived in China two weeks ago, many of you probably had no idea of what GIAHS was all about. A Chinese proverb says “Seeing is believing”, after your intensive engagement with GIAHS through lectures, group discussions, field visits and extra-curriculum activities, I am confident that you have gained an exceptional understanding of GIAHS.”

As Mr Qu congratulated the participants he told them, “A seed of cooperation for the future development of GIAHS has been nurtured during this event. When you return home tomorrow, you will be the GIAHS ambassadors in your own country”. He encouraged the participants to follow the wisdom and philosophy of GIAHS in the responsible stewardship of agriculture and natural resources, and to engage in joint efforts to ensure improved ecology and better production for a better life in the future.

Participants, who came from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam, expressed their experiences of the GIAHS training in these words: delighted, inspired, motivated, and committed.

The new GIAHS ambassadors stressed their commitment to building strong regional GIAHS networks and said, “GIAHS provides tangible options and solutions to sustainable development,” and that, “GIAHS is living, evolving, prosperous and sustainable”.

Closing ceremony was held on 27 September 2014 at Jiangsu Province, China.


Click here to download expression of appreciation from participants.

Click here to download closing remarks by Mr. Qu Sixi.