Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2021, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (4): 522-531.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.04.010

• Resource Management • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Conceptual Framework for Key Element Identification in Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (IAHS): Case of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces System in China

LI Heyao1,2(), HE Siyuan2, DING Lubin1,2, MA Nan1,2, MIN Qingwen1,2,*()   

  1. 1. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2021-01-26 Accepted:2021-04-06 Online:2021-07-30 Published:2021-09-30
  • Contact: MIN Qingwen
  • About author:LI Heyao, E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA23100203)


With the continuous emergence of global development problems, the dynamic conservation and sustainable development of Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (IAHS) have been assigned greater importance. However, due to the complex structure, multi-component, dynamic, and open characteristics of IAHS, there are neglected problems which need to be solved in conservation practice, such as component element ambiguity, obscurity of the conservation redline, etc. This study defined the concept of key elements (KE) of IAHS, put forward a conceptual framework of KE identification, conducted empirical research by taking Honghe County of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces System (HHRTS) as an example and analyzed the level of recognition motivations for different stakeholder groups. The following conclusions were drawn: 1) The KE of HHRTS are grain crops, rice species biodiversity, terrace construction and maintenance technique, Hani traditional festivals, Hani traditional foods, and virgin forest; 2) The reasons behind the KE priorities of farmers, businessmen and tourists were at the micro level, the reasons of officers were at the middle level and the reasons of researchers were at the macro level. The empirical study conducted in HHRTS showed that the proposed conceptual framework could identify KE of IAHS effectively, and provided a theoretical perspective for the structuring of and essential need for IAHS research. Moreover, the KE recognition levels of different stakeholder groups reflected their potential action strategies. We should focus on the coherence of policies and measures in both the microscale and macroscale to balance the diversified demands of stakeholders, and to stimulate their enthusiasm for participation in the conservation in order to improve the management level of IAHS sites.

Key words: Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (IAHS), Key Elements (KE), Honghe Hani Rice Terraces System (HHRTS), identification, stakeholders