Ifugao Satoyama Meister Trainees visit Japan’s Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) in Noto Region

The Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program (ISMTP) delegation led by Dr. Eva Marie Codamon-Dugyon, Ifugao State University (IFSU) President visited the renowned Kirimoto Wooden Craft, Senmaida Rice Paddies and Uchiura Agri-Service in Wajima City, Ishikawa, Japan as part of the educational exposure trip to learn on adaptive management of GIAHS and also for academic and governance benchmarking on October 23, 2018.

The ISMTP delegation first visited the Kirimoto Wooden Craft Company in Wajima City. The company was built 150 year ago and practices sustainable wood carving and wood preservation. Ms. Junko Kirimoto, manager of the company highlighted the need to respect nature, its forest as a source of living and for the future generation.

On the other hand, the visit to the Senmaida Rice Paddies in Wajima City was an eye-opener for the participants.
The delegates realized common and shared problems experienced in the Ifugao Rice Terraces communities and in Senmaida. One of these is the exodus of young people to the urban areas and leaving the rice paddies for the elderly to tend.

“We salute the Senmaida farmers and all their efforts in the continuing conservation and preservation of the rice paddies as an important agricultural heritage. We share common aspirations in our efforts to cultivate the rice terraces as a matter of food security and cultural identity,” said IFSU President Dugyon.

ISMTP is now on its second phase is a capacity building project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) implemented by the Ifugao GIAHS Support Committee (IGSC) in Ishikawa Prefecture in collaboration with the Ifugao State University, University of the Philippines-Open University, and the Ifugao Provincial Government. It aims to develop technical and leadership skills of the Ifugao Rice Terraces (IRT) stakeholders to sustain the IRT landscape through relevant training activities.

The ISMTP education exchange is done annually in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan to expose the trainees and partner agencies led by IFSU in the Noto region and its academic institutions to learn the adaptive management framework of GIAHS applied in Japan’s satoyama and satoumi. #