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Forum Synergie

Linking sustainable practices throughout Europe

GIAHS (► Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems)

Rural topic(s): Local ecological knowledge

City: Rome

Country: Italy

Web site: https://www.fao.org/giahs/en/

Launched in 2002 by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations), the GIAHS initiative has evolved over the past 20 years to become a regular FAO programme whose goal is : “to identify and safeguard Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems and their associated landscapes, agricultural biodiversity, knowledge systems and culture.”

The website defines the GIAHS as follows: “The concept of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) is distinct from, and more complex than, a conventional heritage site or protected area/landscape. A GIAHS is a living, evolving system of human communities in an intricate relationship with their territory, cultural or agricultural landscape or biophysical and wider social environment.

The humans and their livelihood activities have continually adapted to the potentials and constraints of the environment and also shaped the landscape and the biological environment to different degrees. This has led to an accumulation of experience over generations, an increasing range and depth of their knowledge systems and generally, but not necessarily, a complex and diverse range of livelihood activities, often closely integrated.”

67 sites have been designed all over the world, some of them are in Europe and North Africa. It is worth visiting the website and discover how they maintain biodiversity, ensure food security, manage natural resources as well as become aware of the knowledge and practices related to this system.

Scale of intervention : International

Keywords: traditional knowledge, Farmers Ecological Knowledge, ecosystem friendly methods, agroforestry, agroecology, water management

Places: Europe,

Actors: international organization (IO)