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1st Ifugao Rice Terraces Assessment International Summit: Understanding and Envisioning the State of the Ifugao Rice Terraces Landscape


Date: 18 – 29 March 2022

Location: Online / Ifugao State University, Philippines 

This summit will bring together researchers, policymakers, and local communities to discuss the findings of the Ifugao Rice Terraces Assessment under the theme Understanding and Envisioning the State of the Ifugao Rice Terraces Landscape. Conservation measures and research conducted at the Ifugao Rice Terraces (IRT) will be presented with the aim to formulate a scientific vision and policy recommendations for the sustainable development of IRT.


The Ifugao Rice Terraces (IRT) were designated by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1995 and as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) by the Food and Agricultural Organization in 2011. The terraces play an important role in providing food security and other economic services for indigenous peoples. However, due to the loss of biodiversity, environmental destruction, reduced farm labour due to massive outmigration, and the loss of interest in rice terracing among other threats, IRT was placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2001.

To address these challenges, the Ifugao Rice Terraces Assessment was initiated in 2019 by the Ifugao State University with the support of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies and the Satoyama Development Mechanism. The assessment’s findings will be analysed at the summit and they will serve as blueprints for evidence-based policies.


The event will be held virtually and on-site at the Heritage Convention Hall, Ifugao State University, Philippines. To attend online please register here.


The event will be conducted in English, with no interpretation provided.


18 March, 10:00–11:00
Opening Session

Opening remarks

  • Dinah Corazon M. Licyayo (Vice President, RDET Ifugao State University)

Summit messages

  • Jerry U. Dalipog (Governor, Provincial Government of Ifugao)
  • Yoshihide Endo (GIAHS Coordinator, Food and Agriculture Organization)
  • Tsunao Watanabe (Director, Secretariat of the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative; Senior Programme Coordinator, UNU-IAS)

18 March, 11:00–14:00
Current Conditions & Trends of the Ifugao Rice Terraces (IRT)

22 March, 10:00–13:00
Drivers of Change in the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the IRT Landscape

25 March, 10:00–13:30
Responses to the Changes of the IRT Landscape

29 March, 10:00–12:30
Future of the Ifugao Rice Terraces Under Plausible Scenarios

Further information on the event, including outlines for each session, is available in a detailed programme.


The event is organised by the Ifugao State University State University Research and Development Center for the Ifugao Rice Terraces as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems in partnership with the Secretariat of the International Partnership of the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI), with the support of the United Nations University Institute for the Advance Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).

The summit was held in a hybrid, involving a wide range of actors from researchers and governments to local communities. It featured the Ifugao Rice Terraces Assessment outcomes implemented through the Satoyama Development Mechanism (SDM).  

In opening remarks, Dr Tsunao Watanabe, Director of the IPSI Secretariat, introduced the collaborative efforts between Ifugao State University and Japanese institutions, including UNU-IAS. He highlighted that knowledge sharing beyond countries could enhance recognition of the biocultural value of communities and accelerate efforts to address common challenges.  

Dr Maiko Nishi, Research Fellow in the IPSI Secretariat, participated in the panel discussion on responses to the Ifugao Rice Terraces landscape challenges. She provided insights from Satoyama Initiative, focusing on how Japan Satoyama Satoumi Assessment (JASSA) has contributed to the development of the Satoyama Initiative.   

More information, including the video recordings, can be found on the website of Ifugao State University here.