The rich biodiversity and cultural patterns of agricultural heritage sites are preserved unconsciously in the traditional way of life of local communities. They are also attractive resources for tourism development, which supports the conservation of agricultural heritage systems (AHS) while providing benefits for local communities. As a typical case study, a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) site with a Rice-Fish-Duck agricultural system (RFDS) in Congjiang County of South West China is introduced to illustrate the community approach to agricultural heritage conservation and sustainable tourism development. The concept of a community approach to agricultural heritage is dynamic both in terms of conservation and livelihood adaptation. Six elements in the concept model and their relationship were analyzed. The community is the core element and the other five are: local community identity, livelihoods, local sustainable tourism development, the farming system, biodiversity and cultural patterns in the site. All are interconnected and thus support the agricultural heritage conservation of agricultural heritage and the development of sustainable tourism in the heritage sites.
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