Системы сельскохозяйственного наследия мирового значения (ГИАХС)

Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) - An opportunity for growth in Europe

19 September 2022

On 15 September 2022 theLandcare Europe, in close collaboration with the Food and Agriculture of the United Nations (FAO)GIAHS Secretariat and ProfessorAgnoletti, UNESCO Chair for Agricultural Heritage Landscapes from the University of Firenze, co-organized the online webinar “GIAHS potential in Europe - an information session with GIAHS experts. 

The session, generally, aimed to inform participants about a) FAO´s Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems programme,b) the unique features of GIAHS compared to other agricultural systems and c) the benefits of becoming a GIAHS. Additionally, registrants were informed on how countries can apply to be designated as a GIAHS. The webinar lay a particular focus on designations and potential GIAHS sites in Europe. Often, when people think of GIAHS, they envision remarkable landscapes such as widely stretched traditional tea plantations that can be found in Asia. And while the GIAHS programme has already designated more than 45 sites in Asia and the Pacific, the interest in promoting traditional agricultural systems in Europe is constantly growing. 

To date, GIAHS has designated 7 agricultural sites across Europe, 4 located in Spain, 2 in Italy and 1 in Portugal – with a huge potential for more nominations from other European countries. 

During the workshop, Rafael Fernandez, Representative of the Regional Ministry of Agriculture in the Andalusia Region, provided participantswith a full picture of the designation process of the  Malaga Raisin Production System in La Axarquíain Spain, leading up to its designation in 2017 

Moreover, they received first-hand informationfrom Pietro Clarici, Owner of the Azienda AgrariaClarici organic, residing in Umbria. Mr Clarici explained the impact that the designation of of the GIAHS site Olive Groves of the Slopes between Assisi and Spoletohad on its region and the community. which was designated in 2018.  

At last, registrants were able to follow the identification of potential GIAHS sites in Germany, taking example from the Nuremberg Metropolitan Area in Germany for the Peri-urban agricultural systems in the Nuremberg region. Dr. Christa Standecker, Managing Director Nuremberg Metropolitan Region, described the unique features of this potential GIAHS site in the Nuremberg Region.  

Key take aways from the workshop “GIAHS potential in Europe - an information session with GIAHS experts” 

Following the discussions and presentations, the online webinar resulted in the following key take aways:  

  • Becoming a GIAHS promotes local economies, local communities and preserves important agricultural heritage; 

  • Designating more agricultural heritage sites in Europe, like the GIAHS candidate from the Nuremberg Metropolitan area, will have several co-benefits such as safeguarding and supporting biodiversity, the environment and our ecosystems, while promoting food security and local agricultural traditions; 

  • Through the GIAHS designation processes, policy makers and governments start acknowledging the efforts that farmers and communities put into dynamic conservation of agricultural heritage sites;  

  • The recognition of GIAHS sites in Europe has fostered collaborations among different associations at local and global level to protect GIAHS and make the more resilient for current challenges like climate change;

  • Especially in GIAHS sites like Spoleto and Assisi, eco-friendly tourism is growing.  


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