A community consisting of two towns named Minabe town and Tanabe city in south side of Wakayama prefecture is popular as the best Ume product district,
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「Minabe-Tanabe Ume System」 is certified as GIAHS at GIAHS Management・Science Joint Committee hosted by headquarters of FAO (Rome) in December 15th, 2015.
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I believe we must call the all factors developed and protected for long time by forerunners for long time as heritage, such as the cultivatoin of Ume based on 「Minabe-Tanage Ume System」, an application of Coppice to production of Charcoal, or a mutualism with honeybees.
These are my honor that this heritage gain world recognition, and certified in the 50th anniversary of Nanko Ume.
We have to consider about how we pass to posterity and how we utilize this certification as our next step.
We are thinking to make more strong connections between makers, processors, JA(Japan Agricultural Cooperatives), and government in Minabe and Tanabe area as one region.
The main purposes of this are regional development with boosting consumption of Ume and Charcoal, industrial development with expanding selling channels to domestically and globally, and sightseeing development.
I believe the Certification as GIAHS means not only just being cerfitied, but also being highly evaluated as a scheme that maintain bio-diversity based on our historical key factors.
The factors are our regional agricultural systems that care about resource circulation and mutualism, this regional agriculture that have deeply connected to our lifestyle and culture, and the history that our way of agriculture have been inherited in adapting to various changes of environment.
At the same time I am proud of 「Ume System」 that gains global recognition, I do expect that people understand the value of this perpetuated agriculture, and it leads local revitalizatoin and expantion of sustainable agricultural model such as development of industrial sightseeing and creation of agriculture brand.
In general, GIAHS is described as am globally important agricultural system that is maintained and utilized by bio-diversity, culture, exquisite landscape, and traditional agriculture・the way of farming that should be passed to next generation.
It seems too difficult to understand everyone understand well.
My understanding about GIAHS in a simple term is that it is a way of conveying various "connections in the area" that have been developed by forerunners to next generation.
About Ume System also, it is made of "connections" that people have kept cultivating Ume for 400years.
I believe the reason why consumption of Ume have decreased is because not only food culture has changed, but also people's "connections" have been weak.
I would like to lead to the revitalization of our community by taking another look at this connections in whole community, making weakened connections stronger, and making new connections.