Rice farming has supplied the staple food for several thousand years to many peoples in the countries of the Asian monsoon region. We can see the great influence of rice farming on the cultures of each country. There is also the characteristic humid landscape mainly composed of paddy fields in rural areas in these countries. Since some components of this landscape, such as channels and reservoirs for paddy irrigation, make up habitats of various aquatic organisms, we are quite familiar with the diversity of those species living there.
Most countries of the Asian monsoon region needed to improve rice yield to sustain their increasing human populations. Thus, farm chemicals are continuously utilized for rice farming in those countries, and will continue to be utilized in the future. The OECD admonished our governments to use farm chemicals more carefully, particularly to reduce and manage their impact on the environment, as well as on human health. However, in our countries, the environmental safety of farm chemicals utilized for rice farming has been judged by using only the results of toxicity tests on fish and carapace for fishery, so we have accumulated little knowledge concerning the methods to assess the ecological impact on biodiversity, regardless of the urgent demand for effective assessment.
Therefore, in this international workshop, co-sponsored by NIAES and NIAST, in response to the OECD, we will confirm the impact of recent rice farming on biodiversity in paddy ecosystems, and discuss the methods for assessing the ecological impact of farm chemicals from the three standpoints below:
Program Revised (Feb. 3, 2005)
Instructions for Proceeding Preparation and Submission