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Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

5 new GIAHS sites are designated in China, Korea and Spain

28 November 2017

 

In occasion of the 5th meeting of the GIAHS Scientific Advisory Group (SAG), from 23 to 25 November 2017, 5 new agricultural systems were approved and designated as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems.

In particular:

The Zhagana Agriculture-Forestry-Animal husbandry Composite System, China

Stretching across the area where the Tibetan Plateau, the Loess Plateau and the Chengdu basin converge, this unique agricultural production systems consists of a tightly self-contained and self-sufficient mix of agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry that ties together both the landscapes’ diverse vertical and horizontal zones. The system not only sustains the livelihoods and food security of local residents but also serves important ecological functions, supporting soil and water conservation as well as preserving biodiversity.

The Huzhou Mulberry Dyke and Fish-Pond System, China

This wetlands-based food system originated more than 2500 years ago and is based on a harmonious and ecological cycling of nutrients and energy. Over thousands of years, locals dug up mud and converted lowland areas in this lake-, pond- and river dotted area into fish ponds. They planted mulberry trees planted on pond dykes to feed silkworms; silkworm feces is used to feed fish; fish excrement enriches the pond mud; dug-out mud in turn provides fertile soil for the mulberry trees.

Traditional Hadong Tea Agrosystem, Hwagae-myeon, Republic of Korea

Hwagae-myeon is Korea’s prominent tea-producing area. This nature-friendly agricultural system requires minimum human intervention in is in close symbiosis with nature. Instead of using artificial fertilizers, residents of Hwagae use a traditional organic compost, known as pulbibae, made of by-products from region’s oak forests, to nourish their crops.

The Raisin Production System of La Axarquía, Spain

Vine growing- and raisin production in La Axarquía, Málaga, in southern Spain, are done by hand using traditional techniques passed down over generations. Given the very steep slopes where production occurs, mechanization is not possible, obligating farmers to use manual labor and mules in the same environmentally-friendly way they did in ancient times.

The salt Production System of Añana, Basque Country, Spain

Salt production in this small valley in the mountains of Spain’s Basque Country is possible thanks to unique springs running up through a gigantic underground vault of the mineral, a remnant of  a sea that disappeared millions of years ago. The landscape of the Valle Salado is defined by a complex, gravity-powered brine distribution and storage system that has been used for millennia.