Rice farmer in Pampanga, Philippines.  
Photo: ©Veejay Villafranca/NOOR for FAO


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Rice production contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. A new initiative aims to make rice production more sustainable, targeting change in farming techniques through policy and market incentives.

A new global consortium, the Sustainable Rice Landscapes Initiative, will bring together expertise from international organisations, research institutions and business groups to tackle the enormous environmental footprint of rice production, UN Environment announced in late March 2019.

The consortium aims to introduce sustainable approaches to farming practices, incentivise production and demand for sustainable rice with market-based instruments, deliver policy support to governments, and improve knowledge sharing and collaboration on sustainable rice solutions.

Rice is a leading cause, as well as a victim, of climate change, and its production impacts many natural systems. Rice is responsible for about the same greenhouse gas emissions as Germany, particularly from methane, which is emitted from rotting vegetation in inundated paddy fields, according to UN Environment.

At the same time, rice yields and nutritional values are significantly reduced by rising temperatures, and production must increase by 25 per cent by 2050 to meet global demand.

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