Friday, October 9, 2015

CORIGAP conducts workshop on measuring ecological indicators for sustainable rice production

The Closing Rice Yield Gaps in Asia with Reduced Environmental Footprint (CORIGAP) project conducted a two-day workshop on measuring ecological indicators and using the field calculator on 8-9 October 2015. IRRI scientists, led by Sarah Beebout, and key partners from China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam gathered together to discuss how to calculate 12 core environmental indicators from farmer field data collected from CORIGAP project sites.

 “One of the very important parts of CORIGAP is looking at the environment and examining whether we can measure ecological impact to see where we could make cropping systems more sustainable from an ecological perspective,“ Grant Singleton, CORIGAP project leader, said.

He lauded the continuing efforts of the project team in providing substantial input into creating indicators that will complement the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP). “If we get better measures, we can deliver key messages to policy makers so they can be the key people to take this initiative further,” he added.

“The vision is to build sound recommendations for sustainable practices in different countries for each planting season,” Sarah Beebout, lead scientist for the work on ecological indicators, explained. “For example, if a farmer uses low-carbon technology, does the nitrogen-use efficiency improve?”

Aside from ecological indicators, the participants were also taught how to use the field calculator, a tool to assess sustainability using the ecological indicators themselves. The participants brainstormed on how to use the field calculator further and who else might be its potential users.

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