Sustainable Commodity Landscapes in East and Southeast Asia

Changing the paradigm for agricultural policy and investment


Sustainable Commodity Landscapes in East and Southeast Asia

Our Partners

Government of VietnamRainforest Alliance

Our Supporters

The World BankAsian Development Bank

Project Contact


Since the 1970s explosive growth in commodity exports in East and Southeast Asia has come at a high cost to the environment. For example, continuous monoculture production of grain and tree crops has reduced soil quality in many areas. Clearing of forests and wetlands has led to biodiversity loss. Excessive or inappropriate use of fertilizer and chemicals has polluted surface and groundwater. Field burning of rice husks has increased air pollution. Agricultural irrigation is depleting aquifers. Greenhouse gas emissions have increased due to loss of above and below ground carbon stocks and poor management of water resources, soils, and crop and livestock waste.

The negative economic, human health and ecological impacts are significant.

Our Role

EcoAgriculture Partners conducts policy research to international businesses, policy makers, and donors to holistically support an integrated land management approach. We provide direct support, education, training, research, and policy analysis to help these groups shape  and implement projects that will ultimately be proposed and funded. This allows diverse individuals and organizations at the local, national and international levels to create and sustain ecoagriculture landscapes worldwide.

How We Do It

We partner with industry players to transform agricultural commodity markets by building awareness, capacity, and commitment and by developing tools and spatial planning to raise the level of knowledge about landscape approaches to biodiversity conservation among a wide variety of stakeholders and institutions.

We develop a broad range of policies for program participants in addition to advising governments and development banks on how to support sustainable agriculture.

We evaluate the performance of market mechanisms designed to support sustainable agriculture. We show where, when and why voluntary standards and eco-certifications deliver the biodiversity benefits they promise. We demonstrate if and how much smallholder farmers benefit from compliance with these standards.

Our Partner


Our team was impressed by EcoAgriculture Partners’ 2013 work on “Reducing Risk: Landscape approachesto sustainable sourcing.” Now we are working with them to explore how these ideas can be applied in commodity landscapes in East Asia and the constructive roles which government agencies can play in these initiatives.

Steven Jaffee Lead Rural Development Specialist, World Bank

Our Impact

Policy Change

Our policy research and outreach in the region has shifted government attitudes toward agriculture development from ones focused on large-scale production for export at any cost to more thoughtful long-term approaches that take into account natural capital and social cohesion. Progress is understandably slow, but real change is happening in a variety of countries, most notably Vietnam and China. 

Read the latest research from EcoAgriculture Partners and the World Bank on how policymakers in East and Southeast Asia can green commodity agriculture.

Download Steps Toward Green

Improved sustainability standards

By leading research on the impact of sustainability standards on agricultural landscapes and smallholder farmers in tropical regions, we’ve helped partners like Rainforest Alliance, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, the Round Table on Responsible Soy, and the SAI platform improve the performance of their standards. Since so many governments in East and Southeast Asia have relied on private-sector self-regulation to improve agricultural sustainability, the performance of standards in the region is crucial.

Related Publications

Steps Towards Green Cover

New from EcoAgriculture Partners and the World Bank

How can policymakers in East and Southeast Asia help the agriculture sector take Steps Toward Green?

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