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 agri-food 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 farming practices, sustainable ecosystems that protect agricultural 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 project's main goal, which covers the Zagatala, Gakh, and Balakan regions, is to form value chains that support small agricultural entrepreneurship and contribute to eliminating poverty in the area. The project also aims to develop the region's agrarian tourism potential.
The registration of the selected sites as GIAHS will be an essential step for promoting these places and the whole country to foreign tourists. "The advantage of sites and communities which FAO registers 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.
At present, 62 GIAHS territories from 22 countries are registered.