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Nation plays leading role in evaluation of global agricultural heritage sites

Source:China Daily Date:2023-03-07

As an early participant and firm supporter of global agricultural heritage systems, China — with its long history of creating environment-friendly farming models — has played a leading role in offering scientific and technological evaluation of such heritage, according to an expert. 

"Modern farmers should not only consider improving chemical fertilizers, pesticides and equipment, but also consider adapting to climate change and determining how to meet the various needs of consumers," said Min Qingwen, a national political adviser and professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research. 

"Over the past 1,300 years, the Chinese people have created environment-friendly agricultural models that combine planting and aquaculture," said Min, a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body. 

China is home to 19 Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems sites, which are agroecosystems inhabited by communities that have an intricate relationship with their land, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 

These evolving sites are resilient systems characterized by remarkable agro-biodiversity, traditional knowledge, invaluable cultures and landscapes, and are sustainably managed by farmers, herders and forest workers in ways that contribute to their livelihoods and food security. 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has identified 138 Nationally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems sites. 

These sites, including the rice-fish co-culture system in Qingtian, Zhejiang province, and the Honghe Hani rice terraces in Yunnan province, are distributed in 13 provincial-level regions. In 2005, the Qingtian rice-fish co-culture system became the world's first GIAHS site. 

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