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Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

The First Meeting of the GIAHS Scientific Advisory Group, 22-23 February 2016

Rome, Italy, 4 March 2016

On 22-23 February 2016, the first meeting of the GIAHS Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) was held at FAO. The SAG started its operations in 2016 to serve for two-year term (2016-17). It is expected to provide scientific advice and guidance to the GIAHS designation process.

The meeting elected Prof Qingwen Min and Prof Mauro Agnoletti as Chair and Vice Chair of the new GIAHS Scientific Advisory Group (SAG). Among others, the SAG discussed draft Guidelines on the Designation and Certification of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) as well as draft Working Arrangement for the Scientific Advisory Group. Other subjects discussed included the possible reviewing, where necessary, of basic texts related to GIAHS, such as the definition, selection criteria, goals and objectives and application template.  

“What we need now is to share best practices to facilitate the exchange of knowledge among countries, among communities, and this is the kind of contribution we are expecting from members of GIAHS Scientific Advisory Group.” said FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo at her opening remarks for the meeting. “We are not putting the traditional against the modern, but we can use both together in a way to improve our food production sustainably.” she added.

Since the inception of the GIAHS Partnership Initiative in 2002, there have been 36 systems in 15 countries designated as GIAHS sites. Agricultural heritage has been playing and will play an important role in prompting sustainable agricultural production, protecting the environment, building resilience to climate change and contributing to rural social and economic development.