SDM Project: Ifugao Rice Terrace Assessment (IRTA)



Ifugao State University / Philippines


Local Government Units of Banaue, Hungduan, Mayoyao and Kiangan

Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program Alumni Network

Save the Ifugao Rice Terraces Movement








Ifugao Rice Terraces, Assessment, GIAHS


Eulalie D. Dulnuan – IRT-GIAHS Center, Ifugao State University


Summary Sheet

The summary sheet for this case study is available here.

SDM website

More information is available here


The Ifugao Rice Terraces Assessment aimed to assess the state of the Ifugao Rice Terraces providing scientific base for response for the conservation and sustainable management of its landscapes. This is in response to the unorganized efforts among the government institutions, academe, NGOs, and communities in attempting to address issues of biodiversity loss, upkeep of ecosystem services and revitalization of indigenous knowledge for its protection and preservation. It intends to serve as basis for policy and decision makers for intervention in formulating legislative and executive measures and conservation plan of the Ifugao Rice Terraces as a socio-ecological production landscape.

The IRT inscribed by UNESCO as World Heritage Site and UN-FAO as GIAHS site include the municipalities of Banaue, Hungduan, Kiangan, and Mayoyao of the Ifugao Province. The assessment included the examination of the conditions and trends of the Ifugao Rice Terraces’ farmland ecosystem, forest ecosystem, and biodiversity; the drivers (direct and indirect) of change; and the responses to change.

Key findings show that the physical features of the Ifugao Rice Terraces are still visible. The farmland ecosystem, forest ecosystem and biodiversity are still rich but confronted by economic, environmental, and social issues to sustain them.  Urbanization, commercial or modern farming methods, and the changing societal values are the threats for its sustainable management and development.

The project is relevant to the IPSI Strategy and global sustainability goals as it concretized the contributions of the indigenous peoples of Ifugao through their sustainable management of the Ifugao Rice Terraces system that includes the forest, water, settlements, farmland and its biodiversity as a whole. It is imperative that these must be sustainably developed given its relevance to the world’s biodiversity and food security.

The most important achievement of the project is the conception of a blue print on the state of the Ifugao Rice Terraces system that can be utilized by development planners, policy makers, the education sector and the communities as basis for the IRT’s sustainable development and management.

Wood carving, an indigenous practice and important local livelihood Mayoyao Rice Terraces, Ifugao
Wood carving, an indigenous practice and important local livelihood