Platform elevates the sustainability of rice

06 Apr 2021 | Muriel Cozier

‘Rice offers an important entry point for action on a range of Sustainable Development Goals…’

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has become a member of the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP). The organisations will work together to ‘advance sustainable rice, exploring priority areas including public private financing and consumer demand for sustainable rice.’

This latest announcement builds on three years of work developing the Sustainable Rice Landscapes Initiative (SRLI) which has mobilised more than $60 million in seven countries across Asia. The SRLI, launched in 2019, is an agreement to deliver smart and sustainable agri-solutions for rice farmers and supply chains adversely impacted by climate change in Asia. Actions include reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving biodiversity. The SRLI is led by several organisations including the United Nations Environment Programme, the WBCSD, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the German Agency for International Cooperation.

Rice is the staple food for half of the world’s population, and it supports the livelihoods of 1 billion people. At the same time rice crops use 30-40% of the world’s irrigation water, and due to the high volumes of methane released during its production, it contributes as much greenhouse gases as the aviation sector. According to the IPCC, both yields and the nutritional value of rice will face net reductions as temperatures continue to rise. However, to meet global demand, production of rice must increase by 25% by 2050.

Welcoming the formalisation of the partnership between the WBCSD and Sustainable Rice Platform, Wyn Ellis, Executive Director, SRP said; ‘Rice offers an important entry point for action on a range of Sustainable Development Goals; we are looking forward to extending our cooperation with WBCSD and private sector partners to realise our common vision.’

The announcement of the WBCSD’s membership of the Sustainable Rice Platform, was made during Rice Week, which was held online 29th March to 2 April 2021.

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