Asia - Accelerating methane reductions in rice production systems through market-based mechanisms (AMR)

Rice is among the most important crops on Earth, feeding about half of the world's population, and its cultivation is among the most important economic activities globally.

Rice cultivation also has a significant environmental footprint. It is a significant emitter of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) including methane, accounting for 10 percent of total global anthropogenic methane emissions. It also uses 28% of the world’s freshwater resources.

Substantial progress has been made in developing enabling policy frameworks to reduce methane emissions from rice in recent years, raising political awareness and advancing commitments for emissions reductions. 

However, socio-technical and incentive challenges remain, which mitigate the transformative potential of climate-smart farming practices that can reduce SLCPs, such as alternate wetting and drying (AWD) in Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.

Market development for methane reductions can catalyze public and private cooperation and investments to eliminate critical barriers to low-emission transformation and systematically address excessive methane in rice production systems. To make this happen, various awareness, capacity and evidence gaps need to be addressed to trigger buy-in and de-risk investments in the carbon market from the private and public sectors.

What we're doing

This project aims to develop the policy and programmes needed to enable carbon markets for rice, a development that has been strongly pushed by the private sector over the last year. In order to achieve transformative actions, questions around the economic viability and validity of current methodologies need to be answered. 

The objective of this project is to facilitate enabling conditions for changing producers' and value chain actors' perception and behavior towards climate-smart practices or low-emissions practices as not only an approach that is good for climate and environment, but also an economically practical option. 

This requires a better understanding of risks, expected profits and modes of operationalizing carbon markets in rice systems, and identifying evidence gaps. 

This project will, at a minimum:

  • Produce the scientific and evidence basis for supporting the design of carbon markets for low-emissions farming in Southeast Asia
  • Develop knowledge products and engage the private sector to increase awareness, buy-in and commitments to invest in carbon credits and market development for low-emission rice in Southeast Asia
  • Improve methodologies for MRV of adoption of low-SLCP practices using digital, remote-sensing and precision technologies and set up an initial system for scaling the model.
Pollutants (SLCPs)