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2017 - First Global Sustainable Rice Conference and Exhibition

Successful launch of a new SRP flagship event!

The First Global Sustainable Rice Conference and Exhibition was convened by UN Environment and the International Rice Research Institute under the auspices of the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP). Held on 4-6 October 2017 at the UN Conference Centre, Bangkok, the conference brought together 66 distinguished speakers and over 300 high-level delegates from 30 countries, representing a broad spectrum of rice sector actors and development professionals, including senior-level representatives from UN and international agencies, governments, private sector supply chain actors, research institutions, farmer groups, equipment and service providers and civil society organizations from around the world.


Opening addresses were delivered by Dr Dechen Tsering, UN Environment’s Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, and Dr Matthew Morell, Director General of the International Rice Research Institute. A keynote address was delivered by Ms Kundhavi Kadiresan, Assistant Director-General and FAO Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific.


The opening ceremony marked the signing of a landmark MOU that will boost collaboration between UN Environment and the International Rice Research Institute, signed by Mr Mark Radka, Chief of the Energy and Climate Branch, Economy Division, UN Environment, and Dr Matthew Morell, Director General of IRRI. [Read the Press Release

(L-R) Dr Bruce Tolentino, Kh Ladda Viriyangkura, Paul Nicholson, Wyn Ellis, Ms Kundhavi Kadiresan, Dr Matthew Morell, Mark Radka, Dr Dechen Tsering, James Lomax, Luc Beerens, Matthias Bickel, Christ Vansteenkiste


Over the two-day event, speakers and delegates discussed the critical role of rice in food security, poverty alleviation and climate change in the coming 25 years, aiming to better understand the sustainability challenges implicit in covering a projected 25% shortfall in global production by 2050, and to share proven innovative solutions.


The event highlighted the need for urgent high-level collaborative action to reduce the social, environmental and carbon footprint of rice systems, enhance resource efficiency, and protect livelihoods and biodiversity in rice landscapes and communities.


A key outcome of the conference was the SRP Bangkok Declaration on Sustainable Rice, a consensus document which calls for collective multi-stakeholder action at local, regional and global levels to foster adoption of climate-smart sustainable best practices to enhance long-term productivity of rice landscapes despite a shrinking resource base, while protecting the environment, mitigating climate change impacts and safeguarding livelihoods and gender rights. The Declaration also calls for leading agrifood supply chain actors to commit to 100% fair and sustainable sourcing of their global rice supply chains by 2025, to support smallholder farmers, based on the SRP Standard, and to ensure transparent and accountable reporting of impacts and benefits for people and planet.


The recommendations articulated are to be further communicated to a wider stakeholder community as a contribution to the forthcoming COP23 climate change talks and side-events taking place in Bonn, Germany from 6-17 November 2017, and to other international fora.


On behalf of the SRP Advisory Committee and all our members, the Secretariat extends its appreciation to IBC Asia, members of the Conference Steering Committee, sponsors and exhibitors, speakers and delegates for making this inaugural event such a resounding success.


Future events will be held on a biennial basis, with SRP's Annual Plenary Meeting and General Assembly continuing on an annual basis. Our 2018 event will be held in conjunction with the International Research Congress, convened by the International Rice Research Institute and dubbed “The Olympics of Rice Science”. IRC2018 takes place from 14-17 October 2018 in Singapore. Mark your calendar now!