Developing a Comprehensive Assessment Method for Ingenious “Agri-Cultural” Systems in Japan (ACS)

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    Project Manager :
    Akira Nagata

    Aiming to contribute to the Millennium Development Goals to end hunger and poverty, this project seeks to maintain sustainable agriculture and its multiple functions, and secure local livelihoods through identification and promotion of ingenious traditional agri-cultural systems. The project, launched in August 2012, supports research activities by leading scientists and academics to identify and conserve ingenious traditional agricultural systems in collaboration with the FAO initiative on Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS).

    The project mainly consists of assessing ingenious traditional agricultural systems and producing recommendations for policymakers and other stakeholders for developing applications to GIAHS, as well as dynamic conservation of GIAHS sites. It is coordinated by UNU-IAS in collaboration with the Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (IR3S) of The University of Tokyo, and funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan,

    The project aims to identify and assess ingenious systems of traditional agriculture with their multiple functions, including food and livelihood security, environmental services and cultural services. It will enhance the resilience and sustainability of agriculture and agricultural communities at GIAHS sites, in collaboration with The University of Tokyo – the leading institution in the field of sustainability science. The project will also establish UNU as the world’s leading think tank and international coordinator for studies on GIAHS, providing technical advice and research assistance to interested candidate sites on their applications for GIAHS designation, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The project will develop a method for comprehensive assessment of agri-cultural Systems for Japan as a best-practice model, and ultimately contribute towards sustainable development of agriculture around the world.

    Since it was launched in September 2012, the project has assisted 2 GIAHS sites in China (Inner Mongolia and Yunnan) in their successful GIAHS designation, and is currently assisting 2 candidate sites in Japan (Shizuoka and Kumamoto Prefecture) in their application process, as well as providing expert advice for another application in the Republic of Korea. The project aims to promote GIAHS exchange and build a network in Asian countries, primarily among Japan, China and the Republic of Korea, to build global momentum for sustainable agricultural development and conservation of ingenious agri-cultural systems.