Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Dates production System in Siwa Oasis, Egypt

GIAHS since 2016
© West Siwa Development Project

Siwa oasis is one of the best illustrations of farmers’ ingenuity to adapt agriculture to very harsh climatic conditions. Situated in a very dry region, this oasis provides an effective way to grow food, livestock and preserve wild flora and fauna, which rely on a very scarce resource: water. Recognized as a very ancient agrarian area, Siwa oasis is a repository of distinctive date palm varieties and other crops, of which the history go back to distant past.

This smart adapted systems is based on date palm agriculture combined with other crops such as olive trees and alfalfa allowing local people to respond to their needs. Water management has allowed to preserve the resource. Strongly linked to local culture, Siwa is unique because Siwans people have Berber ancestry and have managed to preserve much of their linguistic and cultural heritage.

Challenges to oasis agriculture, biodiversity and cultural identity are currently addressed by a number of national and local initiatives, including sustainable agricultural practices, improved irrigation management, the protection of wildlife in and around the oasis as well as sustainable tourism. GIAHS programme is one of the most effective measures to recognize and allow a sustainable development of the system.


FAO awards Siwa Oasis, the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Certificate and signs the first project within Strategy to develop Dates Sector in Egypt

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO) awarded the Dates Production Sector in Siwa Oasis, the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Certificate which makes the Oasis a globally important agricultural heritage system because it preserved the environmental and heritage ecosystem in the cultivation of Dates.


GIAHS and SlowFood

Together, the GIAHS Programme and SlowFood Foundation enhance, through their collaboration, the recognition and the valorization of GIAHS sites as well as Slow Food products. Read more