FAO has officially recognized the Traditional Agricultural System of Koraput as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) site. This was officially declared on 3rd January 2012 at the Indian Science Congress organized by KIIT University in Bhubaneswar. This is an important recognition of our Tribal System of Agriculture and its conservation will only strengthen our fight against serious environmental challenges like climate change.
The official release added “The recognition of the Koraput Traditional Agricultural System as a GIAHS site will guarantee local and international efforts for the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of its genetic resources, and the recognition of tribal peoples’ contribution to biodiversity and knowledge systems, whilst increasing attention to their natural and cultural heritage.”
What is Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)
Worldwide, specific agricultural systems and landscapes have been created, shaped and maintained by generations of farmers and herders based on diverse natural resources, using locally adapted management practices. Building on local knowledge and experience, these ingenious agri-cultural systems reflect the evolution of humankind, the diversity of its knowledge, and its profound relationship with nature. These systems have resulted not only in outstanding landscapes, maintenance and adaptation of globally significant agricultural biodiversity, indigenous knowledge systems and resilient ecosystems, but, above all, in the sustained provision of multiple goods and services, food and livelihood security and quality of life.
In order to safeguard and support world’s agri-cultural heritage systems in 2002 FAO started an initiative for the conservation and adaptive management of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage systems (GIAHS). The initiative aims to establish the basis for international recognition, dynamic conservation and adaptive management of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) and their agricultural biodiversity, knowledge systems, food and livelihood security and cultures throughout the world.
(Source: FAO Official Website: http://www.fao.org/nr/giahs/
The Official Release of FAO on Koraput Region
“The Koraput region in the state of Orissa, India, has a rich assembly of unique floral and faunal diversity. The genetic repository of the region is of great significance in the global context. About 79 plant angiosperm species and one gymnosperm are endemic to the region. In addition, people, who belong to different tribal groups, have conserved and preserved a large number of land races of rice, millets, pulses and medicinal plants, using diverse traditional cultivation practices, which have been developed as an answer to the topographical and ecological diversity of the region. Koraput has been identified as an important centre of origin of rice. The changes in the traditional practices coupled with both, natural and anthropogenic pressures require immediate attention for conservation of these unique species and genotypes for perpetuity.”
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