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International Forum on Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems
-Event Reports -



About the Forum


1.Organizers: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, Ishikawa Prefectural Government, Noto Regional Association for GIAHS Promotion and Cooperation


2.Co-organizer:Sado City


3.Dates: Wednesday, 29th May – Saturday, 1st June of 2013


4.Venue: Aenokaze Hotel in Wakura Hot Spring, Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture


5.Participants: Officials and representatives of International organizations, GIAHS sites, government officials of Japan and related countries, local governments officials, researchers, civilians and other. Approximately 600 participants in total of which 100 international participants came from 20 different countries.




  DAY 1 / Wednesday, 29th May

    9:00 – 9:30 Opening Ceremony


    9:30 – 12:30 Presentation of GIAHS Candidate Sites to the Steering / Scientific Committee


  14:00 – 18:00 Parallel Sessions (Special Topics and Country Presentations)


  DAY 2 / Thursday, 30th May

    9:00 – 12:00 High Level Session


  12:00 – 12:30 GIAHS Site Designation Ceremony and Awarding of Certificates

  14:00 – 16:20 Ishikawa Public Forum

  16:30 – 18:00 Plenary Session

  19:00 – 21:00 Welcome Reception (Food Festival)


  DAY 3 / Friday, 31st May

    8:30 – 10:00 Closing Session

  10:30 – 15:00 Excursion to Noto GIAHS site

  10:00 – Excursion to Sado GIAHS site


  DAY 4 / Saturday, 1st June

   8:15 – 15:00 Excursion to Sado GIAHS site




1.Designation of new GIAHS sites


As newly designated GIAHS sites, 6 candidate sites out of 7 were chosen and from Japan, Kakegawa (Shizuoka prefecture), Aso (Kumamoto prefecture) and Kunisaki (Oita prefecture) were chosen. Upon completion of the Forum, the designated sites now totals to 25 sites from 11 different countries.


New GIAHS sites

  • Traditional tea-grass integrated system in Shizuoka (Local name:Chagusaba)
  • Managing Aso Grasslands for Sustainable Agriculture
  • Kunisaki Peninsula Usa Integrated Forestry, Agriculture and Fisheries System
  • Kuaijishan Ancient Chinese Toreya, China
  • Xuanhua Traditional Vineyards System
  • Kuttanad Below Sea Level Farming System, India

2.High Level Session


Representing the organizers, Dr. Graziano da Silva (Director-General of FAO), Mr. Kajiya (Senior Vice-Minister of MAFF) and Governor Tanimoto gave opening and welcome remarks. Mr. Kajiya stated that he will actively contribute to disseminating and further improving the value of GIAHS. During the panel discussions, 4 country representatives of the existing GIAHS sites (Japan, China, Chile, Peru) and 5 representatives of international organizations (FAO, others) have exchanged ideas on the topic of "Contribution of GIAHS toward a sustainable world".


3.Ishikawa Public Forum


Following Dr. Graziano da Silva’s keynote address on the significance of GIAHS, Governor Tanimoto in his presentation, introduced Ishikawa’s efforts to preserve Noto’s GIAHS site and Noto Smart Drive Project as well as to add words in regards to the expansion of designated area to include Hodatsushimizu town and internal cooperation henceforth. Mr. Kodaira (Executive Vice President of Toyota Motors) gave special remarks, followed by panel discussion which raised active exchange of ideas on local revitalization lead from GIAHS.


Speakers of the panel discussion:


  Moderator: Mr. Hiroki Ose, NHK News Commentator, President of Japan Agricultural Journalists’ Association

  Assistant Moderator: Ms. Minako Nakano, Freelance TV announcer


  • Hironobu Tsujiguchi, Patissier
  • Tsukasa Imamura, Deputy-Director/Chief Producer, Sports Division, Nippon Television Network Corporation
    Shigenobu Fujita, Adviser, JA Ohzora
  • Shinichiro Saito, President, Saito Noen Limited Company

4.Field Visit to Noto GIAHS site


In farm hostel "Shunran no Sato" in Noto town, Dr. Graziano da Silva along with FAO representatives, Prof. Takeuchi Senior Vice-Rector of UNU, Governor Tanimoto and Prof. Anne McDonald of Sophia University participated in a round-table discussion with active farmers from Noto area. After explanation of current agriculture and fisheries’ conditions and efforts made in Noto, changes and impact of GIAHS designation were discussed as well as ideas shared on what farmers claim to the government as support measures.


  Agriculture practitioner of Noto area who participated in the round-table discussion

  • Mr. Kiichiro Tada (Shunran no Sato, farm hostel)
  • Mr. Kazuma Miyazaki ("Farmer" Limited Company)
  • Ms. Chiharu Hayase (Ama diver)

5.GIAHS site Excursions


In the purpose to provide the participants the feel of GIAHS designated Noto and Sado’s fascination, a total of 6 excursions (5 Noto courses and 1 Sado course) were held with attendance of 140 participants of which 70 came from abroad. From rice planting and salt manufacturing experience, to viewing of traditional craft manufacturing process of Wajima lacquerware and Noto’s high quality hemp fabrics (Noto Jofu), and environment friendly agriculture and oyster farming, the participants deepened their understanding of the resources obtained in the local area as well as the local efforts.



6.Noto Communique


As an accomplishment of the Forum, the Noto Communique supported by the below statements was presented and adopted.

  • The GIAHS designated sites should be periodically monitored and their viability should be maintained;
  • The progressive designation of further GIAHS sites to promote the conservation of agricultural heritage and its contributions towards global food security and economic development;
  • Promote the twinning and networking of GIAHS sites


  Please view the below for more reference.




International Forum on Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems - Programme –


Press Release 29th May, 2013 "Kakegawa (Shizuoka), Aso (Kumamoto) and Kunisaki (Oita) designated as GIAHS sites" (Only in Japanese)



Noto Communique on Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems


Noto Communique on Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (Provisional Translation in Japanese)



What is the purpose of the GIAHS Forum?


  FAO’s GIAHS was established in 2002, to pass on the globally important agricultural heritage systems, which includes traditional agriculture and associated biodiversity, landscape, knowledge systems and cultures, to future generations. In June 2011, Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture (Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi) and Sado, Niigata Prefecture (Sado’s Satoyama with Ibis) were designated as GIAHS.
In May 2012, FAO and Ishikawa Prefectural Government agreed to hold the forum this year in Ishikawa, Japan. The purpose of the forum is to share and exchange knowledge on worldwide GIAHS. At the forum, Ishikawa’s initiative will be introduced which doesn’t limit the philosophy and values of GIAHS to agricultural aspect, but expanding to other industries such as tourism and manufacturing. Also, there will be excursions allowing participants from around the world to experience the Satoyama and Satoumi’s treasure.



About the Local Executive Committee


  The Local Executive Committee comprises UNU, MAFF, Ishikawa Prefectural Government, 4 cities and 4 towns of the Noto GIAHS site, agricultural organizations, tourism organizations and scholars, working collaboratively with each other in support for the hosting of the GIAHS Forum. The committee was found in January of 2013.



<Members of the Local Executive Committee for the GIAHS Forum>


Position Official Title Name


Governor, Ishikawa Prefecture

Masanori Tanimoto


Vice-Rector, United Nations University

Kazuhiko Takeuchi


Director General, Hokuriku Regional Agricultural Administration Office of MAFF

Masamitsu Saito


Chairman, Noto Regional Association for GIAHS Promotion and Cooperation

Masuhiro Izumiya


Mayor, Nanao City

Toyokazu Fushima


Mayor, Wajima City

Fumiaki Kaji


Mayor, Hakui City

Yoshinobu Yamabe


Mayor, Shika Town

Masaru Koizumi


Mayor, Nakanoto Town

Eizo Sugimoto


Mayor, Anamizu Town

Nobuo Ishikawa


Mayor, Noto Town

Kazushige Mochiki


Ishikawa Prefecture’s GIAHS Adviser

Anne McDonald


Chairman, Ishikawa Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives

Shunichiro Yasuda


Chairman, Noto Peninsula Tourism Association

Sadahiko Oda


Director, Rural Environment Division, Rural Development Bureau, MAFF

Hitoshi Kodaira


Mayor, Sado City

Motonari, Kai