Climate change

Sustainable development of rubber plantations in a context of climate change

Land use is a central issue for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Plantations of all major tropical commodities are expanding quickly. This creates opportunities for development. It also raises concerns about the impacts of these plantations on the environment, landscapes and livelihoods. Natural rubber is a particularly interesting example to consider in the perspective of sustainable development of a commodity’s producing countries and value chains. This paper is a collaboration between the Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) research program of the CGIAR (FTA n.d.) and the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) (IRSG n.d.). FTA works across a range of plantations, value chains and tree crop commodities, from timber, palm oil, cacao, coffee and tea to bamboo, rattan and rubber, among others. It has identified plantations, their development and sustainability as a research priority. IRSG is an intergovernmental organization and the primary source of statistical information related to rubber value chains, policy issues, innovation and technology. IRSG has a leading role in developing a comprehensive agenda for the sustainability of natural and synthetic rubber.