Friday, October 25, 2019

IRRI leads development of climate mitigation CBA tool for rice production in Vietnam

To support decision-making processes and accelerate the uptake of mitigation technologies in Vietnam, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD), with support from the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) and UNIQUE Landuse GmbH, conducted a workshop for the development of a cost-benefit assessment (CBA) tool for climate change mitigation options in rice production. 

Held in Hanoi, the workshop aimed to explore different understandings of the roles, needs, and capacities of relevant stakeholders with respect to using a CBA tool. More than 50 participants from the 23 relevant sectors attended the workshop, such as officials from the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and attached agencies, experts from international and local research institutes, representatives from various local governments and universities, and a private company.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Bjoern Ole Sander, IRRI’s country representative to Vietnam, emphasized that a mix of people with different skill sets and backgrounds is essential for solving pressing issues like climate change. Through the workshop, various stakeholders were convened to provide input and discuss their expectations in the development of a tool that will meet their needs for decision-making and implementing mitigation options in the rice sector.

Introducing the concept of CBA of mitigation options in rice production to the participants, Dr. Reiner Wassmann, Climate Change Specialist at IRRI, enumerated potential mitigation technologies for Vietnam, such as alternate wetting and drying, land laser leveling, straw and stubble management, and site-specific nutrient management. He underscored that the tool to be developed should identify the suitability, costs and co-benefits, and the mitigation impacts of a low emission development (LED) technology in agriculture.

Dr. Chu Van Chuong, Deputy Director General of the International Collaboration Department of MARD, thanked IRRI for providing Vietnam with technological models for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture, particularly in rice production. “The government needs more CBA to aid our policy makers in choosing the best models of LED technologies that are applicable in the Vietnam context.” he said. 

In his presentation, Dr. Tran Dai Nghia, head of Natural Resources Economics and Environment, IPSARD-MARD, stressed that the goal of the project is to come up with a flexible CBA tool that can be updated easily in changing policies and technologies. “The tool that will be developed must be applicable in creating micro- and macro policies, and can assist in providing LED solutions that have higher socio-economic benefits.” he stressed.

Workshop participants were divided into groups to discuss their expectations as end-users of the CBA tool. Issues discussed include availability, accuracy, and frequency of updating data; quantifying cost factors (infrastructure, maintenance, etc.); and suitable platform (online and/or offline), among others. The participants also identified various steps that should be done to come up with a usable CBA tool, such as implementing a pilot study for the development of the tool, and developing a training program for the various stakeholders.

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