Thursday, April 17, 2008

world’s most incredible agricultural engineering project

tourism is also thought to be responsible for the start of what could be a slow death of the terraces for a couple of reasons. firstly, the new generation of locals see the hospitality industry created by the terraces as a far more appealing line of work than the constant farming and attention needed to sustain the terraces themselves. secondly, water isn’t as readily available as in the past due to the effects of an earthquake in 1990 and the new demand for water itself from the tourist industry.

for that reason unesco has placed the terraces on a list of world heritage sites it believes to be ‘in danger’ in hope of starting a successful rehabilitation of the world’s most incredible agricultural engineering system.
clipped from
the rice terraces of the philippine cordilleras
approximately 3′000 years ago the people of cordillera took on one of mankind’s most impressive landscape modification projects in order to farm effectively on the surrounding mountainsides and slowly transform the region into what some now call the eighth wonder of the world. due to the sheer scale of this farming system it’s hard to disagree: the rice terraces of the philippine cordilleras, if laid out end to end, would stretch halfway round the globe.
the fact that it was completed thousands of years ago without the use of modern apparatus and machinery takes the terraces and integrated irrigation systems to a whole new level
carve horizontal ledges into hills, essentially creating thousands of small walled fields from base to peak in which to grow crops and retain much needed water. however, in the cordilleras region this has been applied to an area on an elsewhere unseen scale: approximately 10′360 square kilometre
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