Zhejiang to host agricultural systems conference

2022-07-13 Editor : Xue Lingqiao ECNS App Download

The 2022 International Conference on Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems will be held in Qingtian county in East China's Zhejiang province from July 17 to 19, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Tuesday.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the GIAHS program, launched by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Since the inception of the initiative at the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in 2002, the number of agricultural systems recognized as GIAHS has been gradually increasing.

To date, 18 sites in China have been added to the FAO's list of global agricultural heritage systems. The network now consists of 65 systems in 22 countries around the world, with China being the largest single contributor to the list.

Rice fish culture in Qingtian, the first candidate in China, was included in the network in 2005. The traditional rice-fish agricultural system is beneficial to local farmers and the environment, FAO said.

Cohosted by the ministry and the Zhejiang Provincial Government, the conference in Qingtian plans to discuss important issues such as globally important agricultural heritage systems and food system resilience, sustainable development in rural areas and improvement of farmers' livelihood, an official with the ministry said.

Sui Pengfei, director of the ministry's department of international cooperation, said the ministry has invited agriculture ministers from 13 countries, senior officials from FAO and representatives of seven international organizations.

The conference this year will be the biggest of the past 20 years, Sui said.

"We hope parties at the conference will reach a consensus on the exploration, protection, utilization and inheritance of globally important agriculture heritages," he said.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization recently recognized three sites in China as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Tuesday.

In May, the three new sites in China were recognized as GIAHS, including an ancient tea-producing area in Anxi county in Fujian province, a nomadic livestock rearing area in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region and a rain-fed stone terrace farming system in Shexian county in Hebei province.

Sui said ensuring food security and biological diversity are among the qualifications of the network.


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