Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)
Transplanting © FAO/Lena Gubler

Designation Process

1. Preparation and Submission of GIAHS proposals

1.1. FAO member countries or other parties/stakeholders can develop a proposal to nominate GIAHS sites (GIAHS proposal) through effective participation of the relevant communities, and their prior and informed consent. The costs for the development of the proposal should be borne by the applicant. The GIAHS Secretariat serves as first entry point for information on the rules and procedures and guiding principles for possible GIAHS proposal.

1.2. GIAHS proposals should be submitted to the GIAHS Secretariat through the appropriate Government channel or GIAHS National Committee where they exist.

1.3. Proposal shall explain clearly the unique nature and specific features of agricultural practices and systems that exhibit remarkable characteristics in the proposed site, including but not limited to:

i) Food and livelihood security;

ii) Agro-biodiversity;

iii) Local and Traditional Knowledge systems;

iv) Cultures, Value systems and Social Organisations; and

v) Landcapes and Seascapes features.

2. Acceptance and Screening of GIAHS Proposals

2.1. The GIAHS Secretariat receives proposal and acknowledges receipt through written notification;

2.2. Checks the proposal to verify that the proposal fulfils the requirements as stipulated in paragraph 1. The GIAHS Secretariat may request the applicant to revise the proposal to comply with the requirements or provide further information.

2.3. Forwards the proposal to the Scientific Advisory Group for evaluation if the proposal meets the requirements of paragraph 1.

3. Evaluation and Designation of the GIAHS sites2 by the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG)

3.1. The SAG prepares an evaluation report based on the review of GIAHS proposal and the outcome of the expert visit to the proposed site.

3.2. The site visit will be conducted by expert(s) nominated by the SAG, facilitated and supported by the applicant. The site visit should include the participation of the local communities.

3.3. The SAG may request additional information to clarify substantial points in the proposal and may provide advice to the applicant to revise and resubmit.

3.4. The SAG can make one of the following three types of decisions:

3.4.1. Designation of the site;

3.4.2. Request revision and resubmission of the proposal to the applicant; and

3.4.3. Notification of declination of the proposal to the applicant.

3.5. The process from acceptance of the application by the SAG to the decision as described in paragraph 3.4 should preferably not take more than twelve months.

3.6. The SAG can also adopt its rules of procedure, guidelines and methodology for evaluation.

4. Certification and Registration

4.1. The designation of a GIAHS site shall be certified by the award of a designation certificate, signed by the Director-General of FAO.

4.2. The designation shall also be recorded in the GIAHS Registry and published on the GIAHS website.

5. Monitoring and Evaluation

5.1. Member countries which have designated GIAHS sites should monitor and evaluate the state and progress of implementation of the action plans for dynamic conservation of the GIAHS sites.

5.2. They should make a periodic report on the outcomes of the monitoring and evaluation to the GIAHS Secretariat.

5.3. The guidelines for monitoring and evaluation should be made by the SAG taking into account the capacity and feasibility in developing countries. 

6. Amendment

6.1. Amendments to these guidelines can be made by the SAG.

For downloading Guideline, please click here.