LEGATO stands for Land use intensity and Ecological Engineering Assessment Tools for risks and Opportunities in irrigated rice based production systems (www.legato-project.net ). The Project linked to the ADB-IRRI Planthopper Project kicked off in 2011. In the first year, LEGATO partners conducted stakeholder consultations in the Philippines (Banaue, Nueva Ecija and Laguna) and Vietnam (Tien Giang province, Sapa and Red River Delta) to obtain broad impressions of provisioning, regulatory and cultural services in rice based ecosystems in the sites. The impressions and physical characteristics, like cropping intensity, climate and geology were used to select research sites. Further research, surveys and experiments, to define the interactions between rice cropping systems and landscapes and the socio cultural issues related to landscapes and agricultural practices were designed. Ecological engineering will provide the framework to modify farm practices to restore biodiversity and ecosystem services.
“Ecological engineering for sustainable management in rice landscapes” is the theme of the Conference in Banaue Hotel from 1 to 7 July, 2012. Twenty nine (29) participants from LEGATO partners in Europe, 5 from Vietnam, 3 from the Philippines, 1 from Malaysia together with 7 from IRRI and guests from Thailand and the Philippines presented preliminary results, exchanged protocols, discussed conceptual frameworks and planned further investigation activities for the next 3 years. Emphases will be placed on developing indicators to monitor the various ecosystem services, nutrient (silica in particular) cycling, pollination, biological control, cultural, aesthetic services and implementation strategies.
Participants also visited the rice terraces in Batad, Hingyon and Banga’an.