Friday, June 3, 2016

Gender issues in implementing a water saving technique in Colombia

    Photo: CIAT

The adoption of the alternate wetting and drying (AWD) technology, developed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), is currently being undertaken in Colombia by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), in collaboration with the National Rice Federation in Colombia (FEDEARROZ). This research initiative is significant given the diminishing water resource and the drought episodes being experienced in some parts of the globe as a result of climate change. 
In implementing AWD, a socioeconomic study with gender perspective is being conducted in five regions of Colombia -Tolima, Norte de Santander, Córdoba, Cesar and Casanare- to identify potential barriers to technology adoption among rice producers. In some Latin American countries, studies show that women are not typically recognized as rice producers, hence, their participation in the production system and access to relevant resources are limited. Read more

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Annual emissions reductions from agriculture must reach 1 GtCO2e per year by 2030 to stay within 2°C warming limit

In the wake of the Paris Agreement, there is increased recognition of the need for mitigation in agriculture.
But how much mitigation from agriculture is needed to limit climate change? Photo: IRRI

Current agricultural interventions will only deliver 21-40% of target, indicating need for transformative technical and policy options.

The Paris Agreement, signed in 2016 by 177 countries and counting, indicates a global commitment to limiting climate change to 2°C. In parallel to the Paris Agreement, countries submitted 162 climate change adaptation and mitigation plans to the United Nations. Three-quarters of plans included intentions to reduce emissions in the agriculture sector.

Translating national plans to global impacts on climate change is not possible without clear and measurable targets for emissions reductions. In response to this gap, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), with 21 partners, put forward a preliminary target for agriculture, published in the journal Global Change Biology in May 2016. Read full story

Paris Climate Agreement Cannot Be Met Without Emissions Reduction Target for Agriculture

A farmer in India uses a GreenSeeker to gauge the health of his crops. By doing this, he can judge the optimum amount of fertilizer for crops and reduce GHG emissions from overuse of fertilizers while maximizing productivity.  
Photo: P. Vishwanathan (CCAFS)

Researchers propose a 1 gigatonne carbon dioxide equivalent per year reduction target for farming by 2030 and find current interventions could only achieve 21-40% of this goal.

BURLINGTON, VERMONT (17th May 2016) – Scientists have calculated, for the first time, the extent to which agricultural emissions must reduce to meet the new climate agreement to limit warming to 2°C in 2100.

Scientists from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), the University of Vermont, and partner institutions estimate that the agriculture sector must reduce non-CO2 emissions by 1 gigatonne CO2e per year in 2030. Yet in-depth analysis also revealed a major gap between the existing mitigation options for the agriculture sector and the reductions needed: current interventions would only deliver between 21-40% of mitigation required. Read full story

Thursday, April 28, 2016

International exhibit features IRRI’s mitigation technology

April 22, New York, USA - The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has organized an exhibit that showcases climate change mitigation stories around the globe through compelling photo essays. The exhibit runs from 22 April to 12 May 2016 at the UN Headquarters in New York. Part of the exhibit focuses on rice and climate change, which acknowledges the work of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from rice farming systems through the alternate wetting and drying (AWD) technology.

The exhibit has formerly been shown in Paris during the COP21 climate change negotiations in December 2015.

With the theme “We have the power: We are the change,” the exhibit, which opened on the celebration of Earth Day on 22 April, was intended to coincide with the momentous Paris Charter Agreement, on which 174 States and the European Union have signed. This signifies each country’s commitment to keep the global temperatures increase within this century well below 20C.

AWD is a simple and inexpensive technology
with multiple, significant benefits.
Photo: Jericho Montellano/IRRI
Doing this within the coming decades would mean reducing GHG emissions from various industries and sectors. As the global GHG emission from agriculture now reaches 10–12%, rice-producing countries need to effect measures to reduce emissions from rice cultivation, particularly the potent methane gas (CH4).

The IRRI-developed AWD technology has been proven to effectively address multiple challenges due to climate change, such as diminishing water resources and GHG emissions in rice production.

Applying AWD, rice paddies in irrigated systems need not be continuously flooded, which is the practice in the conventional system. This intermittent series of flooding and re-flooding of rice paddies results in water savings of up to 30%, thus, providing more income to rice farmers by reducing irrigation costs. This technology also reduces methane emission from rice farming by up to 50%, which helps hold down the increasing global temperature.

Through the IRRI project on methane mitigation in rice paddies, AWD is now being tested and evaluated for its technical suitability and socioeconomic benefits in countries such as Vietnam, Bangladesh, Thailand, and the Philippines. Activities to determine the ways and potentials for outscaling (massive technology adoption) and upscaling (mainstreaming to national development plans) are being conducted in Vietnam and Bangladesh. A project funded by the Agriculture Initiative of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) being hosted by UNEP, with support from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), identifies opportunities for policy support and tests new scale-out models.

As the old adage goes, “a picture paints a thousand words.” Through this exhibit, it is hoped that the photos on display would be able to meaningfully communicate that we have the power to help mitigate climate change and global warming. With good science, committed efforts, and solid action on the ground, we can achieve the change that we aspire for.

Related articles:

New Climate and Clean Air Coalition agriculture effort tackles climate change, supports rice production

Climate project partners map inroad to adoption of water-saving technology