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Side Event

Conservation and adaptive management of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage systems (GIAHS)

M S Swaminathan Research Foundation

Date and Time
9 October 2012 18:15 - 19:45

Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 11)

Worldwide, specific agricultural systems and landscapes have been created, shaped and maintained by generations of farmers and herders based on diverse natural resources, using locally adapted management practices. Building on local knowledge and experience, these ingenious agri-cultural systems reflect the evolution of humankind, the diversity of its knowledge, and its profound relationship with nature. These systems have resulted not only in outstanding landscapes, maintenance and adaptation of globally significant agricultural biodiversity, indigenous knowledge systems and resilient ecosystems, but, above all, in the sustained provision of multiple goods and services, food and livelihood security and quality of life. In order to safeguard and support world’s agri-cultural heritage systems in 2002 FAO started an initiative for the conservation and adaptive management of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage systems (GIAHS). The initiative aims to establish the basis for international recognition, dynamic conservation and adaptive management of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) and their agricultural biodiversity, knowledge systems, food and livelihood security and cultures throughout the world. The GIAHS initiative has identified pilot sites in Peru, Chile, China, Philippines, Tunisia, Algeria, Kenya and Tanzania. In these pilot systems dynamic conservation management approaches will be developed and implemented, to assist national and local stakeholders in the conservation and adaptive management of the systems. Recently, two GIAHS sites have been identified and launched in India. One represents the traditional agriculture system of Koraput and the other one is represented by the Below Sea Level Farming System in Kuttanad region. This side event in partnership with the FAO will highlight the importance of these systems for enhancing livelihood and ecological security, based on the sustainable management of the bioresources of these regions giving concurrent attention to the local traditional knowledge systems.