Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thailand: CORIGAP team conducts workshop on the environmental footprint of rice production

The Closing Rice Yield Gaps in Asia with Reduced Environmental Footprint (CORIGAP) project conducted a Participatory Impact Pathway Analysis (PIPA) workshop for 30 participants from 12 different Thai organizations in Bangkok, Thailand on 8-9 September. The workshop is aligned with CORIGAP’s objective to measure environmental footprint rice farming using ecological indicators.

The PIPA workshop is a starting tool to guide the participants in identifying the changes needed to achieve shared goals.  Group exercises were conducted to gain a deeper understanding of how various stakeholders are linked (or not) in the collection of data on ecological indicators, what data they need to collect, and where the project could provide support.  The group formed a learning alliance and identified topics of interest to be discussed and implemented in 2015.

By bringing varied stakeholders together, CORIGAP aims to facilitate coordinated collection of data that can be used to develop policies on optimizing productivity and sustainability of irrigated rice production systems.

“We need to gather ecological indicators to help us identify rice farming practices that are environmentally safe and profitable,” said Mr. Chanpithya Shimphalee, the director general of the Thailand Rice Department.

“It is important to start thinking about sustainability and ecological indicators,” said Dr. Sombat Thiratrakoolchai from the Thai Chamber of Commerce. “Some companies will do everything to meet the demands of foreign markets. We could wait for foreign markets to force us, or we could plan ahead.”

The PIPA workshop was facilitated by Engr. Martin Gummert, Dr. Sarah Beebout, Ms. Reianne Quilloy, and Ms. Rica Flor.

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