Project

Sustainability of rice systems in light of current and future changes at the local, regional, and global levels

This project aims to enhance sustainability in rice systems through the understanding of the interacting social, economic and environmental system components.

Rice production needs to increase to accommodate the world's growing demand while at the same time environmental impacts, such as greenhouse-gas emissions and eutrophication from rice production need to reduce. This required advance towards more sustainable agriculture also preserves natural capital and ecosystems services. Simultaneously, the production and processing of agricultural communities must adapt to climate change to safeguard food security and livelihoods. The system’s high level of complexity driven by interacting social, technological, economic, environmental and political factors, calls for an integrated approach to assess and understand its past, current and future states to capitalize on complementarities while minimizing negative trade-offs. Solely focusing efforts on a single challenge in the rice system likely results in unexpected trade-offs between different SDGs and outcomes.

Aim of the project

To enhance sustainability in rice systems through the understanding of the interacting social, economic and environmental system components.

Method

We use transdisciplinary system analysis tools to conduct integrated research and policy assessments. We apply Fuzzy cognitive mapping through stakeholder engagement, system archetyping and land use modelling to understand current socio-economic and environmental interactions in the rice systems of the case study countries. We use the telecoupling framework to understand socio-economic, and environmental interactions between the case study regions as distant coupled systems. With scenario analysis and horizon scanning, plausible futures and uncertainties are studied.