Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2019, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (5): 511-517.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.05.006

• Human Activities and Ecosystem • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Traditional Tea-grass Integrated System in Shizuoka as a GIAHS Site: Values and Conservation—Background of Application and Efforts after Registration

Hidehiro INAGAKI1,*(), Yoshinobu KUSUMOTO2   

  1. 1.Shizuoka University, Kariyado, Fujieda, Shizuoka 426-0001, Japan
    2.Western Region Agricultural Research Center, Ikano-cho, Zentsuji-shi, Kagawa 765-8508, Japan
  • Received:2019-03-05 Accepted:2019-05-20 Online:2019-09-30 Published:2019-10-11
  • Contact: Hidehiro INAGAKI


The traditional tea-grass integrated system in Shizuoka is the first example of a Globally Important Agriculture Heritage Systems (GIAHS) site in Japan that was proposed by a local government. In this paper, we report the background and circumstances leading to the recognition of this system, its registration as a GIAHS, and its current use after registration. Although semi-natural grasslands have decreased considerably in Japan, we found unique semi-natural grasslands with no pest insects and a rich biodiversity around the tea fields. These grasslands and the farming method employed are known as “Chagusaba”, which was registered as a GIAHS in 2013. However, the registration process for GIAHS was not easy, as many local farmers do not understand the value of their traditional farming methods or the GIAHS honor. After registering Chagusaba as a GIAHS, our main agenda was branding. Traditional farming, with time and effort, produces high-quality tea. As labor saving technologies in agriculture have progressed in Japan, the price of high-quality tea has declined, and consequently, the numbers of farmers performing the inefficient traditional farming methods are decreasing. It is necessary to correctly brand the Chagusaba-grown tea and reflect the value of the traditional farming method in the price. The local government of the Shizuoka Prefecture is currently working on implementing a certification system, which includes scientific evaluation using GPS, and the introduction of biodiversity indicators.

Key words: GIAHS, traditional tea-grass integrated system, Chagusaba