Thai Rice NAMA project selected for full proposal

“RD, which is responsible for the sustainable development of the rice sector, will participate in and support the implementation of Thai Rice NAMA.” – Mr. Anan Suwannarat, Director General, Rice Department, Thailand.

Germany and the UK have pre-selected 7 NAMA Support Projects (NSP) from the NAMA Facility’s 4th Call, including the Thai Rice NAMA. These NAMA Support Projects will receive funding for their Detailed Preparation Phase. The two countries have committed to fund up to EUR 60 million for the 4th Call of the NAMA Facility. At the end of the Detailed Preparation Phase (DPP), the decision for funding for the implementation will be taken based on an assessment of the submitted proposals.

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) of the United Kingdom (UK) jointly established the NAMA Facility to support developing countries and emerging economies to tackle climate change and implement ambitious Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). The Thai Rice NAMA project has been submitted as a result of collaboration between the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment as partner ministries, and GIZ as co-applicant.

Agriculture is the second largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting sector in Thailand and at the same time is highly vulnerable to adverse climate change effects. The Thai rice sector is not only responsible for almost 60 per cent of Thailand’s emissions from agricultural activities, but is also the world’s 4th largest emitter of rice-related GHG – mainly methane.

According to data from 1994 to 2013, Thailand is ranked the 11th country most affected by climate-related impacts. With the ratification of the Paris Agreement in September 2016, the Royal Thai Government has expressed its commitment to contribute to global efforts to achieve climate change mitigation. “Thailand’s Rice Department (RD), under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoAC), which is a member of the National Committee on Climate Change, is the main implementing agency for the sustainable development of the rice sector. RD will participate in and support the implementation of Thai Rice NAMA,” said Mr. Anan Suwannarat, RD Director General.

The Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP), a multi-stakeholder alliance co-convened by UN Environment (UNEP) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to promote resource-use efficiency and sustainability in the global rice sector, introduced the first global voluntary rice sustainability standard. This SRP Standard provides a framework for advanced farming practices, leading to higher net profits, increased yields, enhanced food safety, efficient use of resources and – last but not least – lower GHG emissions.

The Thai Rice NAMA project will reach out to 100,000 rice farming households in Thailand in shifting from conventional to low-emission farming in the country. The project will work with farmers and farmers’ associations as well as external service providers (e.g. for land-levelling) in adapting these advanced farming practices and develop respective incentive schemes including financial support. The Thai Rice NAMA will focus on six relevant provinces in the Central Plains of Thailand: Chainat, Ang Thong, Pathum Thani, Singburi, Ayutthaya, and Suphanburi (known as CAPSAS for short), and facilitate its replication at the national and regional scale.

In irrigated rice cultivation, applying an Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) on laser land-levelled fields can significantly reduce methane emissions. The switch to low-emission cultivation of rice is estimated to have the potential for avoiding emissions of 1.664 million metric tons (Mt) of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) cumulative over the 5-year lifespan of the project with increasing annual mitigation potential, reducing baseline emissions from irrigated rice by more than 26 per cent.

In the 4th Call for Proposals, the applications received by the NAMA Facility illustrate the global reach and wide variety of actions targeted at emission reductions. Most national governments directly referred to their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and the Paris Agreement in their applications. NAMAs can function as an important building block to implement NDCs under the Paris Agreement. Altogether, the NAMA Facility supports 7 ambitious projects for the Detailed Preparation Phase from Brazil, Mexico (2 Projects), Philippines, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uganda.

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