Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Hanging gardens from Djebba El Olia, Tunisia

GIAHS since 2020

Perched on the heights of Mount el Gorrâa, the gardens of Djebba el Olia form a unique agroforestry system. At an altitude of 600m, the communities have been able to shape this mountainous landscape to their advantage by integrating agriculture on terraces derived from natural geological formations or by building them out of dry stone.

Backed by an efficient irrigation system, the hanging gardens of Djebba El Olia offer many food resources to its owners. Based on the practice of agroforestry and agroecology, fig tree cultivation is the mainstay of a varied and resilient polycultural system supported by extensive livestock farming.

The farmers of Djebba El Olia have a fine knowledge of the interactions and synergies between their crops and with the local fauna and flora. A long tradition of knowledge and practices related to food processing and preservation feeds the fascination for these farmers. Attached to their land, Djebba El Olia is a small oasis suspended in the mountains that bears witness to the ingenuity of its inhabitants.


Sowing seeds in Tunisian sands

Nature can transform itself from a foe to an ally. Farmers have known this for centuries and have learned to survive and produce food despite hot temperatures, little water and even lack of arable land. Under such circumstances, communities have translated their resilience and inventiveness into farming techniques that have endured the test of time and are part of the solution for a challenging future.


Tunisia’s unique farming systems win recognition as part of the global agricultural heritage

Tunisia's traditional Ramli agricultural systems in the lagoons of Ghar El Melh and its hanging gardens from Djebba El Olia, have been recognized as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), a designation managed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It is the second time Tunisian sites have won the GIAHS recognition, after Gafsa Oases in 2011.


Les jardins suspendus de Djebba El-Olia: un système ingénieux du patrimoine agricole mondial à savourer

As part of the collaboration between the FAO GIAHS Secretariat and the Slow Food Foundation, the ancient varieties of figs in the Hanging Gardens from Djebba El-Olia GIAHS site were included in the Slow Food Presidium catalog with the aim of recognizing the importance and urgency of preserving this agricultural heritage site. 
Language: French