Table of Content

    30 July 2021, Volume 12 Issue 4 Previous Issue    Next Issue
    Agri-cultural Heritage: An Interdisciplinary Field with Development Prospects
    MIN Qingwen
    2021, 12 (4):  437-443.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.04.001
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (405KB) ( )   Save

    Traditional agricultural heritage research has a very long history. Programme on “The conservation and adaptive management of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)” initiative launched by FAO in 2002, aimed at not only preserving agricultural heritage system, but also applying the principle of dynamic conservation to promote rural development to benefit local community, to assure food security and maintaining the ecosystem. Since then, many more scientists have been enrolled in the new field focusing on the function and value, application and management, conservation and development and other aspects of these traditional agricultural systems which facilitate an emerging cross-discipline. In this paper, based on the concepts and characteristics of GIAHS and China Nationally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (China-NIAHS), the author specifies that Agri-cultural Heritage is a compound heritage that integrates the characteristics of natural, cultural and intangible cultural heritage, and a typical social-economic-natural complex ecosystem composed of economic, biological, technological, cultural and landscape components. For their conservation and development, the joint efforts of scientists from economics, ecology, geography, history, management sciences, culturology, ethnology, sociology and other subjects are needed. Based on progresses studies and perspectives of the field, the author felt that although a good start of the research on Agri-cultural Heritage has been made, there is still much room for development which show a steady growth trend and suggested 32 priority areas in research; a new subject of Agroheritology could emerge in the near future.

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    Resource and Ecology
    The Role of the Important Agricultural Heritage Systems in the Construction of China’s National Park System and the Optimisation of the Protected Area System
    HE Siyuan, DING Lubin, MIN Qingwen
    2021, 12 (4):  444-452.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.04.002
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    Conservation-compatible development of rural communities is an important part of nature conservation objectives. Understanding the role of agriculture, which is often practiced in or bordering the protected areas in rural China, is critical for managing conservation networks considering that limited spatial areas are available for enclosed protected areas. Important Agricultural Heritage Systems stand out for their multi-functionality, and some of their values are compatible with nature conservation. This paper examined the concept, management objectives and resource management characteristics of the Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (IAHS) by analysing their interactions with national parks in terms of community development. The results reveal that management strategies of dynamic conservation, integrated protection and adaptive management of the IAHS can contribute to those national park management objectives concerning conservation-compatible livelihood. However, the typology of the protected area system, including the traditional agricultural system as a new type, needs further consideration.

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    The Significance of Traditional Culture for Agricultural Biodiversity—Experiences from GIAHS
    MA Nan, YANG Lun, MIN Qingwen, BAI Keyu, LI Wenhua
    2021, 12 (4):  453-461.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.04.003
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    Agricultural biodiversity has a high importance in social-cultural, economic, and environmental aspects, and can help in adapting to and withstanding climate change. Conserving the GIAHS sites and the important components within them can help conserve the agricultural biodiversity and traditional agricultural culture of the whole country. This study considered Ifugao Rice Terraces, Dong’s Rice-Fish-Duck System, and Hani Rice Terraces System as three examples which show that traditional culture can be used to protect agricultural biodiversity, while as a carrier of traditional culture, agricultural biodiversity also conveys and protects the traditional culture of the nation. According to the analyses, through several years of efforts, the status of agricultural biodiversity and traditional culture in them has improved. Then, to further promote agricultural biodiversity conservation and traditional culture protection, several suggestions are made, such as establishing community seed banks; documenting and preserving traditional farming methods, techniques, and tools and developing participatory activities which encourage more farmers to participate in the protection work.

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    Perceptions of Local People toward Wild Edible Plant Gathering and Consumption: Insights from the Q-method in Hani Terraces
    DING Lubin, HE Siyuan, MIN Qingwen, LI Heyao, MA Nan, LI Wenhua
    2021, 12 (4):  462-470.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.04.004
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    Wild edible plants (WEPs) can provide a variety of provisioning services and cultural services but they are currently under-utilized. Understanding farmers’ perceptions of the collection and consumption of wild edible plant resources is essential for promoting local socio-ecological system resilience and local wild plant resource use. This paper uses the Q-method to investigate the main perspectives of farmers toward collecting and consuming wild edible plants in the Honghe Hani Terraces region of Yunnan Province. This analysis identified four main perspective types among the farmers, including market-driven, household user-driven, cultural service seekers, and tradition followers. It revealed the main factors that limit and facilitate farmers’ WEP collection and consumption, including limitations due to loss of traditional knowledge, and changes in socioeconomic conditions that negatively affect WEP collection and consumption; while, on the other hand, the demand for WEP-related cultural services and the presence of a strong culture slowed down changes in dietary structure, which in turn have maintained WEP collection and consumption. The Q-method can help in identifying the relationship between community residents and local wild plant resource use in rapidly transitioning areas and in identifying the barriers that affect the resilience of local socio-ecological systems.

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    Resource Economy
    Calculation of Ecological Compensation Standards for the Kuancheng Traditional Chestnut Cultivation System
    LIU Moucheng, BAI Yunxiao, YANG Lun, WANG Bojie
    2021, 12 (4):  471-479.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.04.005
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    Kuancheng Traditional Chestnut Cultivation System is located in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Water Containment Function Area. The Traditional Chestnut Cultivation System is characterized by agroforestry compound, and some studies have shown that the compound planting of chestnut has better ecological benefits than the single chestnut planting mode. However, most of the local farmers in Kuancheng are mainly engaged in single chestnut cultivation. Through ecological compensation, farmers are being encouraged to change their chestnut planting mode, which can achieve the purpose of inheriting China’s important agricultural heritage and improving the ecological benefits. This paper introduces preference coefficients to correct for opportunity costs, and through interviews and questionnaires, we obtained the input and output of the single chestnut cultivation, chestnut-maitake, chestnut-millet, and chestnut-chicken and the income of laborers working outside the home in the Kuancheng area. Through analysis and calculation, we obtained the following results: (1) Although the net income of the three chestnut composite modes is higher, their economic input is higher than that of a single chestnut planting mode, and the return on unit investment is lower. (2) The average income of young and middle-aged workers who work outside is higher than that of the local farming industry, so the local chestnut agroforestry plantation has a higher opportunity cost. (3) The final calculation shows that the chestnut-chicken agroforestry operation mode needs no compensation, the chestnut-maitake plantation mode is compensated at least 1608.5 USD ha-1 yr-1, and the minimum compensation for the chestnut-millet plantation mode is 198.3 USD ha-1 yr-1, which can guarantee that farmers receive the full value of their creations. Ultimately, farmers are incentivized to revive the traditional agroforestry production mode to achieve both economic and ecological benefits while inheriting agricultural heritage.

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    The Evaluation of Food and Livelihood Security in a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Site
    YANG Lun, YANG Jianhui, JIAO Wenjun, LIU Moucheng, LI Wenhua
    2021, 12 (4):  480-488.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.04.006
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    Based on the basic selection criteria of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) and food and livelihood security research trends, this paper established an evaluation framework and indicator system for food and livelihood security in GIAHS and selected the first GIAHS site in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau as a case for empirical evaluation. The results demonstrate that the food and livelihood security of farmers at this site was at a medium level, with an average evaluation value of 2.91, which still lagged behind the level of better food and livelihood security. Specifically, the average values of farmers’ evaluation of food security and livelihood security were 1.43 and 1.48, respectively, which show that farmers’ food security in the study area was at a medium level and that of livelihood security was relatively good. Simultaneously, the more simple a farmers’ economic activities (i.e., agriculture-oriented economic activities or non-agriculture-oriented economic activities), the worse their food and livelihood security; while the more diversified the economic activities (i.e., engaged in part-time economic activities), the better the food and livelihood security.

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    Ecological Benefit Evaluation of Agricultural Heritage System Conservation—A Case Study of the Qingtian Rice-Fish Culture System
    WANG Bin, SUN Yehong, JIAO Wenjun
    2021, 12 (4):  489-497.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.04.007
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    In order to better understand the developmental conditions and trends of the biodiversity at agricultural heritage sites, the structure and function of the ecosystem and ecological environment in Qingtian Rice-Fish Culture System is examined in the decade since the implementation of the GIAHS project. Through the collection of historical data and sample-plot survey, this study collates the data from 2005 to 2013 related to the heritage site to evaluate the ecological benefit of the Agricultural Heritage System conservation. The results show that: (1) Since the implementation of heritage conservation, the variety of traditional rice grown at the heritage sites basically remains stable, the varieties of other crops basically remain unchanged and the varieties of fruit trees and medicinal plants have developed at faster rates. As the ecological environment at the heritage sites gradually improved, the species and richness of the biodiversity in the ecosystem have increased, especially the increasing growth of egrets and boars. (2) From 2005 to 2013 in the Fangshan Town of Qingtian County, the ecosystem areas identified as river, forest, urban and bare land have increased. The increased area of the urban ecosystem is the largest one of them, which is up to 20.30 ha; while the area of the forest ecosystem has increased to 7.29 ha. The areas of wetland, reservoir, farmland and grassland have been reduced, and the area of grassland ecosystem has been reduced the most with a reduction of 28.87 ha. From the changes in the values of the ecosystem services of different ecosystem types, the values of forest ecosystem services have achieved the most growth, reaching up to 92000 yuan yr-1 and the growth of the river and bare land ecosystem service values are not obvious. (3) Over nearly a decade, the soil nutrients and the water quality of rice fields at the heritage site have not obviously changed and the plant diseases and insect pests in the rice fields have not been aggravated. The monitoring indexes are far better than the standard values. With the great support of the local government, the production and living conditions and the living environments of farmers in the villages of the heritage sites have been greatly improved through road reconstruction, water improvement, toilet enhancements and the greening, brightness and beautification of the villages.

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    Resource Management
    Design and Application of the Annual Report of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Monitoring
    JIAO Wenjun, WANG Bojie, SUN Yehong, LIU Moucheng
    2021, 12 (4):  498-512.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.04.008
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    Scientific and effective heritage monitoring can not only realize the conservation of the heritage itself and the maintenance of its values, but it can also realize the sustainable development of the heritage site. In order to promote the conservation and management of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), this study proposed a design for the annual report of GIAHS monitoring under the overall framework of the GIAHS monitoring system, and explored the application of the annual report in the first GIAHS site in China: the Qingtian Rice-Fish Culture System. In the design scheme of this study, the GIAHS annual monitoring report is composed of 24 monitoring items, with each of them logically related. It is to be filled in by the bureaus of the heritage site and reported through the GIAHS dynamic monitoring system. The results of an analysis of the annual reports of Qingtian Rice-Fish Culture System for four years showed that Qingtian County has taken a series of conservation and development measures which have reduced the area of abandoned paddy, enhanced the unit benefit of agri-products, and increased the farmers’ income. At the same time, the heritage site is faced with various challenges and threats, such as the weakening of the tourism attraction, the aging of the heritage practitioners, and the limitation of the heritage-themed agri-products and tourism income, which need to be addressed with proper measures. The results can also provide guidance for other GIAHS based on indications that heritage sites should improve the development of cultural products, the construction of social organization and the cultivation of spontaneous publicity, and an exchange and learning mechanism should be established among them in the future. The design and application of the GIAHS annual monitoring reports can not only provide specific guidance for conducting the GIAHS monitoring, but also lay the foundation for evaluating the effectiveness of GIAHS conservation and management. This study is expected to help enrich the theory of GIAHS monitoring, further promote China’s GIAHS monitoring work, and also provide China’s experience for the benefit of international GIAHS monitoring efforts.

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    Conservation of the Important Agricultural Heritage Systems in the Economically Developed Area:Experiences, Problems and Solutions—A Case Study of Zhejiang Province
    GU Xingguo, JIAO Wenjun, SUN Yehong, WANG Bin
    2021, 12 (4):  513-521.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.04.009
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    Zhejiang Province, located in the Yangtze River Delta region, is representative of China's economically developed areas. It enjoys superior natural conditions and a long history of agriculture, and is a comprehensive agricultural area with integrated development of agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery. It has nurtured the farming culture represented by Hemudu culture and Liangzhu culture, which have given rise to numerous precious Agricultural Heritage Systems. At present, Zhejiang Province has three of the world’s Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) and 12 China Nationally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (China-NIAHS), so it not only has the largest number of heritages in China, but it has also attained remarkable achievements in heritage conservation. Taking Zhejiang Province as an example in combination with the rural revitalization strategy, this paper summarizes the achievements in the protection of Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (IAHS) in Zhejiang Province during the past 15 years from the aspects of increasing farmers’ income, cultural Inheritance and industrial upgrading, as well as the conservation experiences in government promotion, community initiative, enterprise participation, technology driving and social linkage. Further, in view of the problems that exist in the current heritage protection,such as imperfect management of heritage sites, low participation of community residents, lack of special protection funds, and imperfect provincial management system,the following countermeasures and suggestions are put forward: (1) Improve the management mechanism for the conservation and development of Agricultural Heritage Systems; (2) Develop regional public branding of agricultural products in Agricultural Heritage System sites; (3) Increase the Agricultural Heritage System science education as well as cultural and creative product development; (4) Carry out the evaluation and recognition of IAHS at the provincial level; and (5) Provide substantial support and input to the conservation and utilization of IAHS. This study can provide some guidance for the conservation of IAHS in Zhejiang Province and it provides important reference for IAHS in the economically developed areas in China.

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    Conceptual Framework for Key Element Identification in Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (IAHS): Case of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces System in China
    LI Heyao, HE Siyuan, DING Lubin, MA Nan, MIN Qingwen
    2021, 12 (4):  522-531.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.04.010
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    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.

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    The Role of Local Knowledge in the Risk Management of Extreme Climates in Local Communities: A Case Study in a Nomadic NIAHS Site
    WANG Guoping, YANG Lun, LIU Moucheng, LI Zhidong, HE Siyuan, MIN Qingwen
    2021, 12 (4):  532-542.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.04.011
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    In the context of climate change, research on extreme climates and disaster risk management has become a crucial component of climate change adaptation. Local communities, which have been facing extreme climates for a long time in their production and daily life, have developed some locally applicable traditional knowledge that has played an important role in their adaptation to extreme climate and disaster risk management. Therefore, this research aims to link Local knowledge (LK) to community extreme climate disaster risk management in order to construct a conceptual model. It then takes the extreme climate adaptation strategy of traditional nomads in a temperate grassland of China as an example to analyze the role of LK in extreme climate adaptation using the proposed theoretical framework. The main research objectives of this study are: (1) To construct a conceptual model to illustrate the relations among extreme climate events, risk management, LK, and farmers' adaptation strategies; (2) To apply the theoretical framework to a field case to reveal context-specific extreme climate adaptation mechanisms with LK as a critical component; (3) To test the framework and provide suggestions for the extreme climates adaptation, and the conservation of LK related to climate change adaptation. The results show that from the perspective of disaster risk management, local communities could manage extreme climates as a disaster risk through adaptation strategies formed from LK, because as a knowledge system, LK contains relevant knowledge covering the whole process of disaster risk management.

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    Regional Development
    Sustainable or Not? Tourism Development in Agricultural Heritage Sites
    SUN Yehong, SONG Yuxin, CHEN Yuexin, YAO Cancan, LI Wenhua
    2021, 12 (4):  543-554.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.04.012
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    Tourism is often considered as one of the dynamic conservation and adaptive management approaches in Agricultural Heritage Sites. It has been over 15 years since the GIAHS programme was initiated in China, and tourism developed quickly in the Agricultural Heritage Sites, to some extent because many researchers consider tourism as a significant engine of the local economy. However, this is contrary to the original intention of agricultural heritage tourism as it was proposed in the first place. Apparently, there are some overt problems during the tourism development process, which are mainly as follows: Some threats to Agricultural Heritage Systems are ubiquitous; The tourism development mode in Agricultural Heritage Sites is questionable; Community involvement is difficult to implement; And the negative environmental impacts are easy to overlook. Under the context of global development, the UNWTO sustainable tourism criteria provide some guidance for agricultural heritage tourism. Based on the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, combined with previous survey experiences and related researches, this paper analyzes the tourism sustainability of all the 15 GIAHS sites in China, and explores the current sustainable tourism development level. On this basis, an agricultural heritage sustainable tourism development framework was built in an attempt to find the road to sustainability for agricultural heritage tourism. The framework in the global and local contexts is trying to connect all the important elements related to agricultural heritage tourism according to the UNWTO sustainable tourism criteria.

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    Protecting Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (IAHS) by Industrial Integration Development (IID): Practices from China
    ZHANG Yongxun, HE Lulu
    2021, 12 (4):  555-566.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.04.013
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    With Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) increasing in number around the world, their conservation has become a new international research theme. From the perspective of combining theoretical analyses and practical case applications, this study examines the Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (IAHS) conservation pathways and operation mechanisms through industrial integration development (IID). First, the theoretical framework of IID in IAHS sites was constructed according to the requirements of IAHS conservation, which include analyses of the connotation and basic principles of IID, the necessity of IID for IAHS sites, the resource conditions, and the IID pathways. And then based on the theoretical framework, the IID of Longji Terraces in Guangxi, Honghe Hani Rice Terraces System in Yunnan (HHRTS), Aohan Dryland Farming System in Inner Mongolia (ADFS), and Huzhou Mulberry-dyke & Fish-pond System (HMFS) in Zhejiang are analyzed systematically. The main finding is that IID is an effective pathway for IAHS conservation. However, the IID in IAHS sites must stress the ecological and cultural values of the resources; IID should be based on local resource advantages; and IID should attach importance to the combination of different policies and coordination between different stakeholders.

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    Ten Years of GIAHS Development in Japan
    NAGATA Akira, YIU Evonne
    2021, 12 (4):  567-577.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.04.014
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    Approximately ten years have passed since Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) was introduced to Japan in 2011, with 11 GIAHS sites designated so far. The Japan Nationally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (J-NIAHS), which considers resilience, multi-stakeholder participation and sixth industrialization, was subsequently established in 2016, and has designated 15 J-NIAHS sites. GIAHS sites can be classified into three major types: Landscape, farming method, and genetic resource conservation types, and most Japanese GIAHS sites are of the landscape type. Since there is almost no national subsidy for GIAHS or J-NIAHS, designated sites are expected to secure funding for conservation from their own efforts. For this reason, a voluntary network of the Japanese GIAHS sites has been active in promoting cooperation on GIAHS conservation. The priorities of the Japanese GIAHS have focused on raising public awareness about GIAHS and J-NIAHS, improving livelihoods, as well as fostering the international exchange of experience and knowledge regarding Agricultural Heritage Systems, especially among Japan, China and Korea.

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    Fostering Harmonious Coexistence of Man and Nature through Conserving Eco-agricultural Practices
    SHI Peili
    2021, 12 (4):  578-578. 
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    The Center for Natural and Cultural Heritage, IGSNRR, CAS
    2021, 12 (4):  579-580. 
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