Traditional Agroforestry Systems: One Type of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems

  • 1 Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3 School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1H2W1, Canada

Received date: 2014-10-15

  Revised date: 2014-11-20

  Online published: 2014-12-18

Supported by

Research on soft science of forestry (2014-R05); Consulting Project of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (2013-XZ-22); and Chinese Academy of Sciences Visiting Professorship for Senior International Scientists (2013T2Z0011).


As one kind of land use practice, traditional agroforestry systems already have a long history of hundreds of years in practice and still play a significant role in the world today, especially in tropical and subtropical areas. In this era of globalization and food in security, more and more governments and non-governmental organizations are paying attention to traditional agroforestry systems because of their economic, ecological and socio-culture benefits. These benefits are also in accord with the characteristics of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS). So far, four typical traditional agroforestry systems from five countries have been designated as GIAHS. These traditional agroforestry systems have rich agricultural and associated biodiversity, multiple ecosystem services and precious socio-culture values at a regional and global level. Although traditional agroforestry systems are confronted with many threats and challenges, such as population growth, migration, market impact, climate change and so on, as long as governments and non-governmental organizations, local communities and smallholders can cooperate with each other, traditional agroforestry systems will be effectively protected and will remain in the future a sustainable global land use practice.

Cite this article

LIU Weiwei, LI Wenhua, LIU Moucheng, Anthony M. FULLER . Traditional Agroforestry Systems: One Type of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems[J]. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 2014 , 5(4) : 306 -313 . DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2014.04.004


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