Japanese crested ibis, a species under special state protection, feeds in a rice field in Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)"Shirayone no Senmaida" consists of 1,004 small rice paddies on seaside slopes in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
The Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture and Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture will be included in a United Nations agricultural heritage list to be announced on June 11.
The latest additions to the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems list will be announced in Beijing at a meeting of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) according to sources.
Sources said the Japanese sites would be the first locations in the developed world to get the classification, which was established in 2002 to protect and support agricultural sites that have outstanding conservation traditions and adaptive management systems.
The Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture is particularly noted for 1,004 terraced seaside rice paddies called the "Shirayone no senmaida," but the FAO also noted its "satoyama" woodlands located near populated areas, a tradition of fishing by women divers, and a salt making process involving drying seawater in salt fields.
Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture is recognized as home to the Japanese crested ibis, a species designated for special protection by the state, and rice paddy cultivation aimed at allowing frogs, weatherfish and other species to thrive.
Among the eight sites already included on the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems list was an ancient method of cultivating potatoes in terraces in Peru and a 2,000-year-old system for farming fish in rice fields in China.