Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas: A ‘Cookbook’ for Emerging IES Practitioners in the Region
IES incentives are intended to support the livelihoods of those who manage or maintain these ecosystem services. However, if approached solely as a financial mechanism, numerous unintended and negative consequences for both communities and ecosystems can occur. Therefore, a well-designed IES system 1) accounts for benefits to both ecosystems and
livelihoods, 2) has a structure for inclusion of and dialogue among all participants, 3) provides explicit monitoring for unintended consequences, and 4) includes system improvement over time. These components will be presented in the forthcoming chapters, as well as in a concluding section presenting tips to avoid unintended consequences.
HOW IESWORKS INWATERSHEDS
INCENTIVES cash, assistance, materials, other incentives
Balances upstream and downstream interest
UPSTREAM COMMUNITY Stewards and providers of watershed services
DOWNSTREAM COMMUNITIES Bene ciaries of watershed services
Creates ecosystem incentives
WATERSHED SERVICES e.g. water puri cation, ood risk mitigation, aquifer recharge, food products and drinking water
ECOSYSTEM CONSERVATION ACTIVITY e.g. reforestation, erosion control actions, halting of illegal activity, waste control, etc.
Figure 1. How IES works in watersheds (adapted from Smith et al., 2013).
Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas
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