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home \ Ifugao Rice Terraces, Philippines

The ancient Ifugao Rice Terraces (IRT) is a 2000 years old remarkable agricultural farming system of organic paddy farming. The viability and continued existence of the rice terraces is a manifestation of strong culture-nature connections, marvelous engineering systems, innovation and determined spirit of the Ifugaos to maximise use of the mountainous lands for food production.

Supported by muyong, a private forest capping each terrace cluster, indigenous knowledge management of these rice terraces are conducted under the traditional tribal practices. The communally managed forestry area Muyongs on top of the terraces mostly contains about or more than 264 indigenous plant species, mostly endemic to the region. The terraces form unique clusters of micro-watersheds and are part of the whole mountain ecology. They serve as a rainwater and filtration system and are saturated with irrigation water all year round. This biorhythm technology, in which cultural activities are harmonized with the rhythm of climate and hydrology management, has enabled farmers to grow rice at over 1000 meters.

The IRT paddy farming also allows protection and conservation of significant and important agricultural biodiversity and associated landscapes including promotion of tourism through its aesthetic value. Five terrace clusters in the Ifugao province were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites because their spectacular landscapes expressed conquered and conserved harmony between humankind and the environment. The Ifugao Rice Terraces have also been dubbed as a "Living Cultural Heritage Site".