The Upper Pampanga Rice Climate-Smart Rice Project

Central Luzon, Philippines

The Upper Pamgpanga Rivier Intigrated Irrigation System (UPRIIS) spans over 100,000 hectares of highly productive rice paddies in Central Luzon, and is considered to be the “rice granary of the Philippines”. Ostrom Climate’s expert team runs a large scale Farmer Field School that supports smallholder rice producers in methane reduction through the implementation of Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) on their farms. In a best-in-class Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) program, and in partnership with the National Irrigation Administration, Ostrom Climate puts revenues directly into the hands of smallholder producers at the front lines of the climate crisis.

The Upper Pampanga Rice Climate-Smart Rice project leverages demand for Nature-based solutions to drive carbon financing into the hands of smallholder rice farmers in a transformative Payment for Ecosystem Services program in Central Luzon, Philippines.

Farmers in the project contribute to climate change mitigation by significantly reducing the methane emissions associated with rice production through a technique called Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD).

Ostrom Climate trains farmers in the implementation of AWD through our extensive Farmer Field School program. The method involves timely release of continuously flooded paddy water to prevent anaerobic breakdown of organic material.


The Project Area

The project is being implemented in the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System (UPRIIS) service area of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), a 145,800-hectare area spanning the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, and Bulacan.

It is the most important rice region in the Philippines with the highest rice output per hectare.



Monitoring and Certification

We closely monitor AWD implementation and crop management practices in our Project rice fields to facilitate the certification process for carbon credits.

We also collect soil data, and directly measure greenhouse gas data from representative baseline and Project rice farms to support GHG quantification.

As part of the Project’s monitoring protocol and to support water management decision-making, all farmers are provided with observation wells to regularly collect data about the water level in their field with the help of our Rice Specialists. This supports GHG modelling and AWD practice verification for the issuance of carbon credits. The project is being validated and verified to Verra’s new rice standard (2024).



Ostrom Climate works in close cooperation with the Philippines National Irrigation Administration (NIA), which provides invaluable expertise in water management and infrastructure, and directly partners with Ostrom Climate staff on our Farmer Field School program.

Ostrom Climate also benefits from the expertise and support of The Philippines Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) which provides research and infrastructural support.

We are also partnered with the Center for Conservation Innovations Philippines, which lends their world class expertise in monitoring and measuring biodiversity and socioeconomic impacts of environmental projects.


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