Climate Action

Sustainable agriculture systems in Bangladesh and Japan recognised by FAO

Four traditional sustainable farming systems in Bangladesh and Japan were named as “Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems” by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on Thursday

  • 17 December 2015
  • William Brittlebank

Four traditional sustainable farming systems in Bangladesh and Japan were named as “Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems” by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on Thursday.

The systems include floating gardens in Bangladesh, a unique hydroponics production system constructed with natural grasses and plants, which have been developed in flood areas.

Three sites in Japan were also recognised by the FAO including the sustainable river fisheries utilising Sato-kawa system in Gifu; the Minabe-Tanabe Ume system of growing apricots on nutrient-poor slopes in Wakayama; and the Takachihogo-Shiibayama mountainous agriculture and forestry system in Miyazaki which enables agricultural and forestry production in a steep mountainous area.

The sites were officially recognised during a meeting of the GIAHS Steering and Scientific Committee at FAO headquarters in Rome.

The announcement brings the number of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) systems to a total of 36 sites located in 15 countries across Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo said: “In the context of today’s environmental and economic challenges and climate change, small-scale and family farmers, and especially traditional agriculture, can offer real solutions for food security, the conservation of natural resources and sustainable rural development, if adequate policies and investment are directed to them.”

The GIAHS was launched by the FAO in 2002 during the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa and was endorsed by member countries during the 39th Session of the FAO Conference, as an FAO Corporate Programme.