Conference 2016



Increasing demand for natural latex, coming largely from China, has driven a massive expansion in the area under rubber cultivation from 5.5 M ha in 1983 to 9.9 M ha in 2012 like Sustainable Rubber Platform, mostly in mainland SE Asia. A large part of this expansion has been realised through the conversion of natural forests, including secondary and pristine forests, to monoculture plantations. Impacts on ecosystem services have included loss of biodiversity, impaired water provisioning, reduced soil health, increased erosion and increased green house gas emissions, but their magnitude and potential mitigation strategies have not yet been fully assessed. Moreover, responding to exceptionally high prices in the late 2010s, farmers planted rubber on marginal land that is unlikely to be profitable in the long-term. Increased incidence of extreme events, as a consequence of climate change, and potential pest outbreaks are expected to exacerbate the problem. Although rubber income has brought wealth to some, it has also engendered severe social costs with respect to others, including poor labor conditions, eviction and lost access to resources resulting in increased poverty and decreased food security for those affected. Moreover, over investment in rubber has left many farmers vulnerable to global market fluctuations. The environmental and social consequences of current rubber cultivation practices, international rubber market developments and climate change threaten the sustainability of the industry in the region.

The Platform on Sustainable Rubber aims to promote research and facilitate communication among researchers, government agencies and industry groups concerned with the sustainability of rubber cultivation. The goal of the Sustainable Rubber Conference is to share information in a multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder setting with a view to promoting environmentally friendly and socially responsible rubber cultivation.


Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) Menglun Township, Mengla County

The conference will be held in the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, at the heart of southwest China’s rubber-growing region in Xishuangbanna, southern Yunnan province.

The gardens are approximately 60 km (1 hr) from Jinghong International Airport (JHG). The conference organizers will arrange airport transfers, and a daily shuttle service from hotels to the conference venue.

We have selected a few well-trusted hotels for you, among which the five-star Anantara resort just outside the gates, and our own three-star XTBG hotel in the middle of the gardens. However, we will be happy to arrange lodging in other hotels if so desired. Please get in touch so we can make arrangements.


Online registration is now closed.

Participants may register on the day (at the same rate) but the conference organisers do not take any responsibility for arranging hotel bookings or airport pick-ups.


The conference is co-organized and funded by:


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