About the Tokushima Tsurugisan Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems Promotion Council

The Nishi-Awa region (Miyoshi city, Mima city, Tsurugi town, and Higashi-Miyoshi town) includes Mt. Tsurugisan in western part of Tokushima Prefecture is one of the most mountainous areas in Japan and has a vast area of sloping land with a high degree of slope. The beautiful landscape of villages, farmlands, grass fields, and Satoyama that are formed on the mountain slopes and where people live in harmony with nature is called "nostalgic landscape of Japan". The people living in this area have learned various knowledge and techniques and improved their land use in order to farm in the severe environment of the steep slope where sometimes has a slope of 30 degrees or more. This inherited knowledge, technology, and ingenuity in land use have nurtured a rich agricultural culture and diverse flora and fauna in this particular region. However, this attractive agriculture and the rich culture and ecosystems associated with it are currently facing various contemporary issues such as depopulation and aging, abandonment of cultivation, and damage by birds and animals that threaten their survival.

Under these difficult circumstances, there is a desire to preserve agriculture and its related culture, ecosystem, and landscape as the "treasures of Nishi-Awa" and to pass them on to the next generation, as well as to sustainably utilize them as potential resources for a brighter future for the region. Therefore, Miyoshi city, Mima city, Tsurugi town, Higashi-Miyoshi town, JA Mima, and JA Awa-Miyoshi took the initiative to establish the Tokushima Tsurugisan Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems Promotion Council in July 2014. This council is engaged in activities to preserve and pass on the traditional agriculture "Nishi-Awa steep slope land agriculture system" in the Tokushima Tsurugi Mountains, and to support the activities to help local communities.

In February 2018, Tokushima Prefecture, the University of Tokushima, and the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization joined the Council as regular members. In July 2018, General Incorporated Association Soranosato, Regional Trading Company Awa-Fuudo, Mima Junior Chamber International, and Awa-Ikeda Junior Chamber International joined the council as regular members, and agricultural promotion organization in each region joined the council as supporting members.

On March 9, 2018, the Nishi-Awa region of Tokushima Prefecture with the "Nishi-Awa Steep Slope Land Agriculture System" was recognized as a "Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)" by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

We would like to continue to work together with residents and other various local organizations to carry out our activities with entire community.