Thailand is a leading rice producer and exporter, but increased production using new technologies without a sustainable landscape approach has resulted in significant greenhouse gas emissions and declining biodiversity and ecosystem services. Environmental degradation and deforestation of rice production landscapes is related to regulatory incentives for chemical inputs, lack of farmer incentives, agricultural expansion, intensive crop monoculture and expansion of cash crops in the upper reaches of watersheds. The government has implemented a number of measures aimed at addressing these issues as well as food security and farmers’ livelihoods. This project will support a transformation to inclusive and sustainable rice farming practices, establish “horizontal” landscape-scale alliances for sustainable management of rice production landscapes, and provide a model for replication at regional and global levels.
United Nations Environment Programme
The project will work along the value chain with companies sustainably sourcing high-quality rice. Additionally, it will design and test as well as seek corporate partners to introduce incentive mechanisms for farmers to adopt aligned practices.
It will also aim to demonstrate improved profitability from reduced use of linkages of rice farms with payment for water services schemes.
The project will support the the government’s Flood Retention Program, help introduce national policy on agrochemical pollution reduction, and support provincial governments and national agencies in conducting multi-stakeholder landscape analyses and spatial planning.
It will also enable access to public-private partnership funding mechanisms, encourage investments and feasibility design in conjunction with the Rice Department and local government agencies, disseminate economic cases with relevant national and provincial government agencies, and allow for implementation of landscape restoration and management plans through investments with the Ministry of Agriculture, Royal Forest Department and provincial governments.