Rice terrace systems in Asia have evolved over thousands of years into beautiful landscapes giving rise to rich cultural practices. However, some complex combination of challenges now confronts the survival of the rice terraces and its communities. The research initially focused on the structural stability of Ifugao rice terrace systems in the Philippines and the Hani rice terrace system in China. However, in response to needs identified, the project expanded to take a holistic approach considering not only ecological resilience but also societal and economic resilience.
For the Hani rice terraces in China, a strategy centred on ensuring water security is proposed to promote equitable and sustainable development. Development of physical infrastructure in the form of upstream water ponds and establishing institutions to regulate and protect groundwater in downstream are proposed to achieve this. For the Ifugao terraces in the Philippines, an integrated approach to traditional Muyong forest management supported by REDD+ funding is proposed for livelihood enhancement and for managing water. Early warning of slope stability and rainfall forecasts systems installed in the study site will be used to continuously enhance local capacity for climate information use and improve understanding of the ecological functions of the terrace system.