Globally important agricultural heritage
At the meeting of the Scientific Advisory Group on Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems held at the headquarters of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome on Friday, several Chinese sites were approved as globally important agricultural heritage.
Two sites, the Zhagana Agriculture-Forest-Animal Husbandry Composite System in Diebu county, Gansu province, and the Huzhou Mulberry Dyke Fishpond System in Zhejiang province, were formally designated as GIAHS sites. While, the four rice terrace areas of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and Hunan, Fujian, and Jiangxi provinces, and the Xiajin Ancient Mulberry Woods in Shandong province were approved in principle, and now await the final confirmation of experts before being officially designated as GIAHS sites. The award ceremony is to be held next year.
The GIAHS program was started in response to modern agriculture's overemphasis on productivity, which has led to the loss of biodiversity, deforestation and over-exploitation and pollution of water resources.
Agricultural heritage refers to the unique land utilization systems and agricultural landscapes created and maintained by the local knowledge and passed on from generation to generation of farmers and herders.
The significance of agricultural heritage is that they are sustainable development systems that benefit local residents. Local authorities should pay great attention to the preservation and development of agricultural heritage.