Japan affirms support for Ifugao Rice Terraces conservation

LAGAWE, Ifugao — The Japanese government has affirmed its support for the preservation of the Philippines’ Ifugao Rice Terraces, as one of the world’s globally important agriculture heritage sites.

Financial aid provider Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japanese government-run Kanazawa University gave the assurance during the visit of Ifugao State University (IFSU) officials to Japan on Monday.

“We are here to state our gratefulness for the partnership and reiterate our utmost desire to continue to strengthen our collaboration and bring to the next level our Memorandum of Understanding last April 2018,” IFSU President Eva Marie Codamon-Dugyon said in a statement released in Japan. “We are truly grateful for our partnership with the Kanazawa University and JICA in the conservation and protection efforts in the Ifugao Rice Terraces as the only Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Site recognized by the United Nations Food and Agriculture in 2007.”

In her meetings with Kanazawa University President Yamazaki Koetsu and JICA-Hokuriku Center Director in Kanazawa, Tomoki Nitta, Dugyon recognized the “invaluable contributions” of the two institutions for the welfare of the people of Ifugao.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Japanese government put up the Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program in the Philippines to train young people in the preservation of the Ifugao Rice Terraces.

The training program is a joint program of the University of the Philippines Open University, the provincial government of Ifugao, JICA, Kanazawa University, and the IFSU. (PR)