Ecosystem Approach

Ecosystem Approach Sourcebook - Case-Study Details

1. Project Details
Author or Responsible Organization R. D. Smith and E. Maltby. (2003). Using the Ecosystem Approach to Implement the Convention on Biological Diversity: Key Issues and Case Studies. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. x +118 pp.
Project Title Rice integrated pest management in Indonesia and elsewhere in Asia
Date of Publication
Project Status Ongoing
Project Start Date
Project End Date
Countries Indonesia
Viet Nam
Funding Source
2. Background to Project
Project Issue/Problem Statement Intensification of rice production and, particularly, the inappropriate use of pesticides to control pests is damaging to biodiversity and human health. In addition, the government subsidies for pesticides are often a significant cost to taxpayers.
Project Description Rice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) was introduced first in Indonesia in 1989 in response to threats to rice production. The main tool of the IPM programme is the "farmer field school", a form of community-based informal adult education. Farmers gain a firm understanding of ecological principles, monitor the progress of their crop, and examine the distribution of insect pests, their natural enemies and other components of biological diversity. The lessons from field schools are scaled up through farmer-to-farmer learning. To date over one million Indonesian rice farmers have graduated from farmer field schools, over 400,000 in Viet Nam, and over 170,000 in the Philippines.The programme has been extended to Africa and to other crops. In the case of rice, crop diversity is low but associated biodiversity is high and critical to ecosystem functioning. Additionally, diversity at the landscape level is important to reducing the costly use of pesticides. The IPM approach has empowered farmers to become better managers of their crops, and thereby to improve production whilst substantially reducing pesticide inputs.
Highlighted Aspects of Ecosystem Approach · Conservation, equitable sharing of benefits and sustainable use of the resources are simultaneously addressed by the IPM approach.· Understanding and conserving ecosystem functioning is essential for IPM. One of the key aspects of IPM is the conservation of natural enemies of crop pests and this in turn depends on high soil organic matter content and a functioning agro-ecosystem.· Goods (crops) and services (natural enemies of crop pests) were identified. Watershed protection, clean water and a healthy environment were also identified as services provided by IPM.· In addition to rice, fish, soybean, maize and other vegetables can be produced in rice fields where IPM is practiced. The farmer also benefits from reduced costs and increased yields. Global benefits such as crop diversity and culturally diverse landscapes were also identified.· Ecosystems need to be managed at multiple scales. Both the individual farm and the wider community were identified as appropriate scales for management as both are relevant to dissemination of IPM approach. The landscape scale is also important as landscape scale heterogeneity in crop systems can result in significant reduction in crop losses to pests. Asynchronous planting of rice helps to support strong populations of natural enemies.· Local actions benefit greatly from intersectoral policy measures such as: (a) promotion of IPM as a national policy, as in Indonesia; (b) changes in incentive measures such as the removal of subsidies for pesticides, and/or the application of taxes on pesticides; and (c) regulatory measures, such as the banning of particularly harmful pesticides.· Adaptive management is a core component of IPM as farmers are trained to monitor the crop ecosystem regularly and intervene appropriately only when necessary.
Conclusions The Ecosystem Approach has the potential to reconcile needs for increased food production and provision of goods and services, and to contribute to conservation. Agricultural biodiversity is of great importance, even for crops based on a single variety. The associated biodiversity is critical to ecosystem functioning. Landscape diversity is also important. The case study illustrates the usefulness of practical examples and an enabling policy environment. The “farmer field school ” approach is highly effective in disseminating IPM.
3. Sectors and Biomes
Sectors Agriculture
Biomes Agricultural Biodiversity
4. Tools and Approaches
Tools and Approaches   Relevance
Public Participation 3-High
Education and Awareness 3-High
- Education 3-High
Management and Incentives 3-High
- Adaptive management 3-High
5. Issues
6. Ecosystem Approach
7. Lessons Learned and the Outcomes
Lessons Learned
Other Information
8. References
References R. D. Smith and E. Maltby. (2003). Using the Ecosystem Approach to Implement the Convention on Biological Diversity: Key Issues and Case Studies. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. x +118 pp.
9. Contact Details
Contact Person Ms Leah Mohammed
Job Title Intern
Organization CBD
Address Montreal World Trade Centre
393 Saint-Jaques, 8th floor
Postal Code H2Y 1N9
City Montreal
ZIP/State/Province Quebec
Country Canada
Telephone 514-288-2220
E-mail Address