Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Scientific Advisory Group


 

In order to ensure a scientific rigor and to develop new tools and orientations of the GIAHS, our Programme relies on a group of nine experts from the different field of expertise.

These experts are selected, one for each continent, by our Director General for a mandate of two years. During this time, the experts will gather in FAO headquarters several times a year to :

- understand, analyse and evaluate the provided information for each received proposals

- lead field visits for each potential sites to confront proposals information and reality in the site

- elaborate technical documents in order to improve the understanding of the programme for potential applicant countries

- provide wide orientations and scientific inputs to mainstream the Programme


Profile of our experts

Patricia Bustamante (She/Her) is an agronomist working at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA). She obtained her master’s and PhD degree in Genetics and Plant Breeding and carried out postdoctoral studies at the Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD) in France. She has a long experience about on-farm conservation of agrobiodiversity. Indeed, Dr. Bustamante contributed to the safeguard and conservation of agrobiodiversity from the first Agricultural System recognized as National Cultural Heritage site in Brazil, i.e the Traditional Agricultural System of the Rio Negro. Finally, she has been serving as a member of the GIAHS Scientific Advisory Group since 2016.


José-María García-Alvarez-Coque (He/His) is a professor of applied economics at the Universitat Politècnica de València-UPV. As an agronomist and agricultural economist during 35 years he has been engaged in field work and project studies related to the implementation of agri-food policies, with focus on family farming and the multiple values of rural systems. He worked with European institutions, such as the European Commission and the European Parliament, for the evaluation of agricultural policies. He went from conducting global scale policy assessments to the local analysis of small-scale farmers’ socio-economic characteristics, practices of collective farming, and phenomena such as land abandonment. He is also interested in urban and peri-urban food systems, and he is a member of the Food Council of the city of Valencia. Finally, he coordinated the project that led to the recognition of the Huerta de Valencia as a GIAHS.


Li Xiande (He/His) is an Agricultural Economist from Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. He served as Vice Chairman of the Experts Committee of GIAHS of Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. After completing his PhD from School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in France, he served as a consultant in OECD, and worked for the French Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment – INRAE. He also served as a member of High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) of the UN committee on world food security (CFS) from 2017 to 2021. His areas of expertise mainly focuses on food security, trade issues, dynamic conservation and development of GIAHS and NIAHS sites. 

Prof Li. is currently serving as Vice-chair of the GIAHS Scientific Advisory Group.


Yagi Nobuyuki (He/His) is a Professor at the University of Tokyo and Member of the Science Council of Japan. His area of study includes socio-economic aspects on small-scale fishery and marketing analysis on food products. He received his MBA from the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA, and his PhD from the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the University of Tokyo, Japan. He was an expert of the IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) at its group on values from 2014 to 2018. He also serves as a member of Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) of the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) Program of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) from 2019 to 2023. He was awarded the Royal Order of Sahametrei, Commander class, from the Royal Government of Cambodia in 2019 for his contributions on rural development studies in Cambodia.

Prof. Yagi is currently serving as Chair of the GIAHS Scientific Advisory Group.


Helida Oyieke (She/Her) is a Chief Research Scientist at the National Museums of Kenya. She obtained a PhD in Marine Botanical Sciences. Today, her main area of research activities and projects focuses on addressing biodiversity conservation and its sustainable utilization with particular interest on wetlands. She has been serving as a member of the GIAHS Scientific Advisory Group since 2016 and has participated in several high level GIAHS training conferences as well as field assessments.


Norma Ruz Varas (She/Her) is a Chilean architect living in Mexico. She holds a Ph.D. and a M.A. in Public Administration, with concentration in territorial planning and land management. She worked as a territorial planning and land management expert for several public and private institutions on issues regarding rural, urban, and environmental planning. She is currently working as a consultant for local and federal agencies advising on topics related to agricultural systems. She has coordinated the research project that led to the designation of the first GIAHS site in Mexico, namely the Chinampas Agricultural System in Mexico City; she has also contributed to the identification of the second potential GIAHS site in Chile and to the development of the first GIAHS proposal in Costa Rica.


Tiziano Tempesta (He/His) is an Agricultural Economist serving as Full Professor at Padova University, Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry. He served as a member of the National Observatory of Rural Landscape, agricultural practices and traditional knowledge of the Italian Ministry of Agriculture supporting, among other, the Italian GIAHS proposals. Throughout his career, he has achieved research activities with reference to landscape: factors affecting visual quality of landscape, relationship between landscape and economy with specific reference to agritourism, food and local market. 


Catherine Tucker (She/Her) is an Economic and Environmental Anthropologist at the University of Florida, jointly appointed in the Department of Anthropology and the Center for Latin American Studies. She has been working nearly all her professional life at the area of human-environment interactions. She has a long experience with community-based natural resource management approaches with a focus on forests, watersheds, and agroforestry. Her main areas of interest are now directed to the ability of farmers to adapt to climate change. She co-founded the Mountain Sentinels Network, and has served on the Mountain Research Initiative’s Scientific Leadership Council.


Slim Zekri (He/His) is Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Economics at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. His area of expertise is mainly on the sustainable use of natural resources with a specific focus on water economics & policy and agricultural economics. He is a consultant for a range of national and international agencies. He masters four languages. He published +100 papers and contributed to several reports for national/international agencies. Since 2016, Prof. Zekri has been serving as a member of the GIAHS Scientific Advisory Group.