Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Traditional Gudeuljang Irrigated Rice Terraces in Cheongsando, Republic of Korea

GIAHS since 2014

Between the 16th and the mid-20th centuries, unique rice paddies have been constructed combining soil and water management by re-engineering the natural environment in areas with disadvantageous conditions. The residents have constructed, maintained, and managed Gudeuljangnon and the irrigation systems as a means of livelihood.

Gudeuljangnon are culverts constructed by stacking stones used as aqueducts of underground irrigation and drainage systems. It maximizes the usable area of the land by constructing the paddies above stacked rocks of various sizes, red mud and arable soil. Doing so, the farmers can adapt their water management to face droughts converting paddies into dry lands.

Last but not least, this unique way of life is part of a very rich culture including typical cuisine, religions and songs related to agriculture. Nowadays, this system must be conserved because of the diminution of youth practicing agriculture, of the urbanization of the island but also to keep living this unique water network.

News

En Corée du Sud, on cultive sur des aqueducs

à première vue, les Gudeuljangnon de Cheongsando (Corée du Sud) ressemblent à des cultures en terrasses classiques. Et pourtant : le système de rizières de ce petit archipel (moins de 43 km2) à la pointe sud-ouest du pays est unique en son genre. Entièrement construit de main d’homme dans un environnement peu propice à l’agriculture, il a permis aux insulaires d’être autosuffisants en riz et ce, depuis plus de 500 ans.

Website

Cheongsando Gudeuljangnon rice paddy

Traditionally, Cheongsando Island had an agricultural environment that was somewhat disadvantageous for paddy agriculture due to steep slopes, sandy soil with rocks and rapid drainage, and a scarcity of water for paddy farming. "Gudeuljang rice paddies" are a product of efforts of Cheongsando Island residents.

Multimedia

Republic of Korea- Traditional Gudeuljang Irrigated Rice Terraces in Cheongsando