1. Food and Livelihood Security.
Agricultural heritage systems contributes to food and/or livelihood security of local communities. This includes a wide variety of agricultural types such as self-sufficient and semisubsistence agriculture where provisioning and exchanges take place among local communities, which contributes to rural economy.
Agricultural biodiversity, is defined by FAO as the variety of animals, plants and microorganisms that are used directly or indirectly for food and agriculture, including crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries. It comprises the diversity of genetic resources (varieties, breeds) and species used for food, fodder, fibre, fuel and pharmaceuticals. It also includes the diversity of non-harvested species that support production (soil microorganisms, predators, pollinators), and those in the wider environment that support agro-ecosystems (agricultural, pastoral, forest and aquatic) as well as the diversity of the agro-ecosystems. Agricultural heritage systems should be endowed with globally significant biodiversity and genetic resources for food and agriculture.
3. Local and Traditional Knowledge systems
Agricultural heritage systems should maintain local and invaluable traditional knowledge and practices, ingenious adaptive technology and management systems of natural resources, including biota, land, water which have supported agricultural, forestry and/or fishery activities.
4. Cultures, Value systems and Social Organizations
Cultural identity and sense of place are embedded in and belong to specific agricultural sites. Social organizations, value systems and cultural practices associated with resource management and food production may ensure conservation of and promote equity in the use and access to natural resources. Such social organizations and practices may take the form of customary laws and practices as well as ceremonial, religious and/or spiritual experiences and may play a critical role in balancing environmental and socio-economic objectives, creating enhancing resilience and reproducing all elements and processes critical to the functioning of the agricultural systems
5. Landscapes Features.
Agricultural heritage systems are often characterized by landscapes that have been developed over time through the interaction between humans and the environment, and appear to have stabilized or to evolve very slowly. Their form, shape and interlinkages are characterized by long historical persistence and a strong connection with the local socio-economic systems that produced them. Their stability, or slow evolution, is the evidence of integration of food production, the environment and culture in a given area or region.