Ziquejie rice terraces in Xinhua, Hunan Province have been awarded the title of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems during the GIAHS International Forum held by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy last Thursday. (Photo by Yuan Xiaofeng and Luo Zhongshan/for China Daily)
The terraces, some of which date back more than 2,000 years, were built along the mountains in southern China by ancestors of the Miao and Yao ethnic groups. They not only help increase the output of rice in hilly areas but also showcase the seamless marriage of southern rice-growing customs and local fishing and hunting cultures. This site was one of four rice terrace sites newly designated as GIAHS, making China the country with the biggest number of GIAHS sites, with 15 total.