Tokushima Tsurugisan Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems Promotion Council

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

Under these difficult circumstances, there is a desire to conserve indigenous agriculture and its related culture, ecosystem, and landscape, pass them on to the next generation, and sustainably utilize them as potential resources for a brighter future for the region. Therefore, Miyoshi City, Mima City, Tsurugi Town, Higashimiyoshi 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 conserve and pass on the indigenous agriculture "Nishi-Awa steep slope land agriculture system" in this region and to encourage local communities to do activities.

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-Fudo, Mima Junior Chamber International, and Awa-Ikeda Junior Chamber International joined the council as regular members and agricultural promotion organizations 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 designated as a "Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)" by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

We would like to continue working with local people and other various organizations to carry out our activities with the entire community.