2 December 2011, Rome – FAO and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) will work together to protect important agricultural heritage systems in Islamic countries under a Memorandum of Understanding signed here this week.
The agreement, which falls under FAO’s Globally Important Heritage Systems (GIAHS) initiative, was signed by FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf and Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director-General of ISESCO, on November 29 in Rome.
Launched in 2002, the GIAHS initiative is designed to safeguard and support Globally Important Agricultural Heritage systems around the world. It works towards the international recognition, dynamic conservation and adaptive management of such systems, as well as the safeguard of their agricultural biodiversity and traditional knowledge.
"I am grateful to ISESCO for joining us in a partnership to promote 'culture and agriculture' as an important aspect of sustainable agriculture development," said Diouf. "FAO has already implemented the dynamic conservation of Agricultural Heritage sites in some Islamic countries such as Algeria, Iran, Morocco, Turkey and Tunisia, and will now be able to expand the GIAHS Initiative across the Islamic world."
"I am very honoured and pleased to sign an agreement with FAO which brings together culture and agriculture as an important pillar of sustainable development,” said Dr Altwaijri. "Culture is a source of life and it is an influential part of agriculture. The experience of FAO can help ISESCO to make this partnership an exemplary one."