Sustainable Rice Landscapes

Our Sustainable Rice Landscapes Initiative (SRLI) seeks to deliver smart and sustainable solutions for rice farmers and those involved in rice supply chains. It aims to increase resource-use efficiency, reduce the environmental and climate impacts of rice production, and maximize the role of rice-growing landscapes as carbon sinks, biodiversity habitats and sources of ecosystem services. We do this by: scaling capacity for landscape-based, food system transformation projects; harnessing public-private partnerships; and integrating next-generation knowledge management.

The Challenge

A fifth of the world’s population depends on rice for their livelihood, while rice is a staple for more than half. Research shows that climate change will reduce rice yields by 40% by 2100, with potentially devastating consequences for food security. Yet, rice is a leading cause of climate change, with global rice farming producing about the same amount of GHG emissions as Germany, primarily from rice straw rot in paddy fields releasing methane. Transforming rice landscapes to more sustainable forms of production is critical to addressing food security, livelihoods and environmental challenges.

The Business Case

Private sector opportunities to shift rice cultivation to be more sustainable include smarter agricultural practices, carbon markets, and growing demand for nature-based solutions to climate change. To achieve the greatest impact, it is necessary to share knowledge between projects and geographies, find new sources of financing, and better use data and technology in decision-making at all levels. This can catalyze the transformational shifts needed for rice landscapes to provide food security, livelihoods and environmental services to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

The Business Solution

The SRLI brings together key partners to scale capacity for landscape-based food system transformation, harnessing public-private partnerships for sustainable rice value-chains and finance, and integrating next-generation knowledge management for rice and agricultural systems. By focusing on levers such as policy support, finance, knowledge and the use of technology, SRLI reduces GHG emissions from rice production, restores degraded land and conserves biodiversity, while increasing food security for local populations and building global rice supply chain resilience.

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