The GIAHS Capacity Building project, is carried out by the CULTLAB of Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry (DAGRI) of the University of Florence, and it is co-funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS). The project is implemented also with the collaboration of PIN – Prato University Campus and of Horizons srl, a spin-off of the University of Florence.

The aim of the project is to promote the knowledge of agricultural heritage systems, supporting the FAO Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) programme.
The GIAHS represents remarkable land use systems and landscapes which are rich in biological diversity evolving from the co-adaptation of a rural community with its environment. The use of sustainable ecological practices is a key feature distinguishing these resilient agricultures developed over centuries.

This kind of farming may be considered as less productive from modern-intensive systems, but it has ensured sustainable yield and high-quality food over time, thanks to time-tested traditional know-hows, adapting to difficult and diverse environmental conditions. The project intends to promote a development model for rural areas based on the vision, mission and strategies of the GIAHS.

The project focuses on two main objectives:

  • High level training courses: a master course, in collaboration with FAO, established at the University of Florence. The aim is to train students and experts from all over the world so as to create managers able to identify and manage GIAHS sites.
  • Identification of potential GIAHS sites all over the world, especially in AICS Priority Countries, contributing to the sustainable development of rural areas.

An important part of the initiative, developed by the spin-off Horizons srl, is dedicated to the promotion of project’s activities. Communication includes organization of conferences and exhibitions, production of scientific papers, newspapers articles, press releases, video production.


In the framework of the collaboration with Terra Madre – Slow Food, 4 webinars (21 January,  11 February, 25 February, 11 March) and an online conference are planned (30 March).


Piazza Giovanni Ciardi, 25
59100 Prato (PO)