Three regions in the North West of Azerbaijan will be selected and registered as the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) within the framework of the project “Development of sustainable and inclusive local agrifood systems in the North West region of Azerbaijan” implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the financial support of the European Union.
GIAHS are aesthetic sites that combine agricultural biodiversity, resilient ecosystems, and valuable cultural heritage. Thanks to traditional agricultural practices, sustainable ecosystems that protect agrarian biodiversity have been formed in these climate tolerant areas.
Being registered as a GIAHS area is of great importance for the current and future food security of the region, ensuring the livelihood of the population, as well as the development of other economic and environmental products and services.
The main goal of the project, which covers the Zagatala, Gakh, and Balakan regions, is to form value chains that support small agricultural entrepreneurship and contribute to the elimination of poverty in the area. The project also aims to develop the region’s agricultural tourism potential.
The registration of the selected sites as GIAHS will be an important step for the promotion of not only these places but the whole country to foreign tourists. “The advantage of sites and communities which are registered by FAO as GIAHS is that the products of farmers and entrepreneurs living and working in these areas are recognized globally, creating favorable conditions for foreign tourists to visit these communities,” commented Project Manager Yusif Akhundov.
Currently, 62 GIAHS territories from 22 countries have been registered.