BEIJING, May 24 (Xinhua) -- China ranks first in the world in the number of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) designated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said Tuesday.
Three sites in China -- an ancient tea-producing area in Anxi County, east China's Fujian Province, a nomadic livestock-rearing region in Chifeng City, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and a rain-fed stone terrace farming system in Shexian County, north China's Hebei Province, have been recently recognized as GIAHS by the FAO, bringing the country's total number of GIAHS to 18.
The sites were designated as GIAHS for their unique ways of using traditional practices and knowledge while maintaining unique biodiversity and ecosystems, according to the FAO.
GIAHS, which is celebrating 20 years in October, is a flagship program of the FAO. FAO's worldwide agricultural heritage network now consists of 65 systems in 22 countries around the globe, the organization said.