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Iran’s Qanat Irrigation placed on Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems list

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, 6 May 2014

The birthplace of jasmine tea and a nearly 3,000 year old irrigation system are among the traditional farming sites designated “globally important” land use systems or landscapes by Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), according to UN Information Center in Tehran.

FAO has designated Iran’s Qanat Irrigation system, an ancient network of farms that have survived for nearly three millennia, as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS).

Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems are considered “models of innovation, sustainability and adaptability, delivering important benefits to the ecosystem”, according to a news release from FAO, which was published on 1st May.

FAO urges further protection of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems for sustainability, food security, livelihoods and culture.

Also on the list are a 22-thousand-kilometer system of black stone walls built from volcanic rock in Jeju, South Korea; the traditional Gudeuljang Irrigated rice terraces in Cheongsando, South Korea; a trio of sites in China: the unique Xinghua Duotian Agrosystem, famous for its method of water-land utilization; the historic Jasmine and Tea Culture System of Fuzhou City; and, the Jiaxian Traditional Chinese Date Gardens.

The sites were officially recognized during the April 28-29 meeting of the GIAHS Scientific and Steering Committee at FAO headquarters in Rome.

GIAHS Partnership Initiative was launched by FAO in 2002 during the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.