GIAHS initiative

GIAHS is an initiative launched by FAO in 2002 to conserve what have been called Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems. GIAHS are “remarkable land use systems and landscapes which are rich in globally significant biological diversity evolving from the co-adaption of community with its environment and its needs and aspirations for sustainable development"


Its dynamic and integrative approach of conservation is well understood in the following statement: “GIAHS resilience depends on their ability to adapt to new challenges without losing their biological and cultural wealth and their productive capacity”. 


The aim of the initiative is to “identify and safeguard Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems and their associated landscapes, agricultural biodiversity and knowledge systems through catalyzing and establishing a long-term programme to support such systems and enhance global, national and local benefits derived through their dynamic conservation, sustainable management and enhanced viability”. To achieve this the initiative promotes the following objectives:  global and national recognition of the GIAHS, capacity building of local farming communities and local and national institutions to conserve and manage GIAHS, and promotion of regulatory policies and incentives to support the conservation, evolutionary adaptation and viability of GIAHS.  At the moment there are more than 55 GIAHS sites all over the world, and the initiative  counts with about 150 partners at many levels (local, national and international).


More information about the GIAHS experience can be found

in the Website of the Initiative:


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