Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) is to promote public understanding, awareness about sustainable agriculture and to safeguard the social, cultural, economic and environmental goods and services these provide to family farmers, smallholders, indigenous peoples and local communities. Hence, FAO started to identify the economic viability of the system, the identification of environmentally sustainable strategies in the face of growing climate change, and the empowerment of small holder/traditional family farming and indigenous communities under Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS).
1. To identify and provide institutional support to nature friendly agricultural practices of local and tribal populations around the world.
2. Capacity building of local farming communities to conserve and manage revenue based farming in a sustainable fashion.
3. To mitigate risks of erosion of biodiversity and traditional knowledge, land degradation and threats.
4. To strengthen conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and natural resources.
5. To reduce vulnerability to climate change and enhance sustainable agriculture and rural development.
6. To achieve food security and poverty alleviation.
7. To promote enabling regulatory policies and incentive environments to support the conservation, evolutionary adaptation and viability of GIAHS.
8. Providing incentives for local population by measures like eco-labelling, eco-tourism.
The concept of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) is moving around to identify and safeguard Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems and their associated landscapes, agricultural biodiversity and knowledge systems through catalyzing and establishing a long-term programme to support such systems and enhance global, national and local benefits derived through their dynamic conservation, sustainable management and enhanced viability. It gave wider approach to the traditional farming by synthesis of modern techniques towards conservation and adaptive management of agricultural heritage systems.
The GIAHS Programme promotes intervention strategies at three distinct levels:
1. Global level: It facilitates, consolidate and disseminate the information about agro-diversity globally.
2. National Level: It streamlined the national sectoral and inter-sectoral plans and policies towards project activities.
3. Local/Site (Community) level: It addresses the conservation and adaptive management project activities at community level through sensitisation programme.
Hence, Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) initiated to establish the relationship between human communities and with their territory, cultural or agricultural landscape or biophysical and wider social environment.