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Terraces

The rugged mountain terrain of Luzon, Philippines holds what is known as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. Over the centuries, indigenous farmers carved into the steep mountainsides an engineering masterpiece of integrated irrigated rice terraces.

These terraces stand in quiet testament to cultures that have revolved around rice, ecology and relationship to the environment. The stone and earthen terraces are considered to be one of most sustainable man-made agricultural landscapes in the world. Records indicate that rice terraces once stretched from Cagayan province on the northeastern flank of the Cordillera Mountains to as far south as Quezon province. Now, only 20,000 hectares of functioning terraces can be found in the mountain provinces of the Cordillera.

In 1995, UNESCO designated five of the most spectacular terrace areas as World Heritage sites. These dramatic terraced landscapes were the first sites to be designated within the category of "living cultural landscape".

Stone terraces Hapao, Ifugao

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