Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Shimbwe Juu Kihamba Agro-forestry Heritage Site, Tanzania

GIAHS since 2011
©FAO/Felipe Rodríguez

Northern Upland Agro-forestry system is characterised by a structural diversity as a strategy adopted by farmers to achieve higher efficiency of resource use by efficiently harvesting solar energy and using soil nutrients and moisture. It also helps to exploit the space, both temporally and spatially in order to meet the many demands of food, fodder, fuel, timber, organic mulch, and medicinal plants.

Growing a high diversity of crops and trees but also animals, the agroforestry system is highly integrated to its environment. It also participate to maintain the soil fertility but mainly to regulate the the water flow from the Mt. Kilimanjaro as a water-tower for the region.

Satisfying the needs of local communities from Northern Tanzania, this systemic system is nowadays threatened mainly due to land scarcity, population growth and migration of younger generations. Beyond its feeding role, this system is an example of synergy between human, plants and animals contributing to keep a sustainable environment.


©FAO/Felipe Rodríguez

Traditional knowledge secures a future for young farmers

On the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, in the Chagga community’s Shimbwe Juu village, much of the area is divided into ‘Kihamba’, plots of land with a traditional home and garden. Here, the Kihamba help form a multilayered agroforestry system that boasts over 500 types of plants and is rich in biodiversity. Read more

©FAO/Felipe Rodríguez

Farmers gain skills to preserve and benefit from the Kihamba agroforestry system on Mount Kilimanjaro

Shimbwe Juu, a small Chagga community village on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro follows a traditional agroforestry system called “Kihamba” but the system was facing serious threats before receiving support through the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) programme in 2013. Read more


Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems: an opportunity to restore ecosystems and achieve the SDGs

GIAHS site representatives from China, Japan, Peru, Morocco, Spain and Tanzania shared their experiences and challenges on the sustainable use of natural resources as well as the types and functions of their ecosystem services. They explored how GIAHS can contribute to the objectives of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.


TANZANIA- Shimbwe Juu Kihamba Agro-forestry Heritage Site