GEF Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations

Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

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 and their components. More....


Theme: Dialogue Among Agricultural Civilizations
9-12 June 2011, Beijing, China.
For details, please contact:
Information of the GIAHS Forum
- Provisional agenda
- General information
- Crab Island Map


2011-04-20- LE
«Des oasis marocaines ont vocation à appartenir au patrimoine agricole mondial».
Entretien avec Parviz Koohafkan, coordinateur des Systèmes Ingénieux du Patrimoine Agricole Mondial (SIPAM). 

NEW GIAHS Booklet!       



We are looking for unique, remarkable traditional agricultural practices and evolving system that demonstrates multiple goods and services to humanity and the environment.  Several examples and types of systems are illustrated in this website, if you know any systems similar to or bearing one or more of the listed criteria, we therefore invite you to share your GIAHS and help us build a database of GIAHS. You may use the template  for writing your GIAHS proposal or you may view existing pilot systems...


Discussion Forum

Food security and dynamic conservation of GIAHS
We welcome your thoughts and contributions towards understanding of the inherent characteristics of GIAHS and how does dynamic conservation of GIAHS contributes to promoting food security goals.

Farmer’s merit in conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity
How does smallholder farmers and indigenous communities contribute (or cause damage) to conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity?

   More ...

Pilot systems

Candidate systems

Other systems