On 25 January 2018, a joint workshop between UNESCO and FAO’s Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) was organized with the World Heritage Centre at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris to share experiences and explore areas of cooperation in the field of agricultural heritage.

The workshop brought together cross-sectoral actors contributing to the safeguarding of heritage with agricultural/pastoral/silvicultural values at a global scale, including representatives of FAO (GIAHS), UNESCO (1972 World Heritage Convention, 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, and Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS) programme) and two of the Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Committee (ICOMOS and IUCN). 

During the opening remarks, Mechtild Rössler, Director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, and René Castro Salazar, Assistant Director-General of FAO’s Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department, both warmly welcomed this initiative which builds upon the long-standing cooperation between the parties. Yoshihide Endo, GIAHS Coordinator, gave an overview of the GIAHS programme, including good practices, challenges and future prospects; UNESCO and the Advisory Bodies also presented their work and insights into the safeguarding of agricultural heritage, and time was allotted for an active discussion among the participants. The workshop agreed upon some concrete action points to further strengthen cooperation and synergies around activities concerning agricultural heritage.