Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas: A ‘Cookbook’ for Emerging IES Practitioners in the Region
dynamics between stakeholders is also necessary. In addition, understanding the existing institutions and their mandates can help to specify their possible role in making IES systems operational. There are a number of tools available to analyse stakeholders, with several examples provided in the text box below. Identifying a broad range of diverse stakeholders can often lead to more resilient and inclusive payment proposals and agreements. Indeed, the great diversity of skills required to think through an IES system is never held by one person — it requires many. Community consultations can help move from ‘theoretical’ ecosystem service producers and consumers, to insights about specific and real individuals and groups. Community consultations can also help validate questions of reliability, transparency and inclusiveness. Inclusiveness is one of the most important issues to cover during the consulting step, including accounting for social and caste systems and the traditional versus desired role of women and gender in representation and decision-making. Inclusiveness is also critical to supporting any equitable benefit- sharing mechanisms. Note! Without a dedicated effort, IES systems can have a tendency to bypass less-represented households and community members, including the poorest. Specific actions must be taken to promote inclusion and representation.
In this step, it is important to understand the motivations, limitations and needs of each stakeholder group. This may occur through discussions with key informants, analysis of existing documents, and research on policy and tenure rights. Consultation may be time-intensive and therefore costly. However, taking the time to travel to or access under- represented groups is extremely important because small changes to the way upstream inhabitants live can have large implications for them — particularly as many in the Himalayas interact directly with ecosystem services. Likewise, an accurate understanding of views and attitudes downstream can be gained through consultation. This is important because many downstream may not otherwise connect the ecosystem services they receive with their origins upstream, or take them for granted, which ultimately undermines consumer willingness to pay. • Rapid assessments of site/watershed (land unit) • Participatory mapping of possible ecosystem service(s) • Review of existing information, data, management plans and policies, if any • SWOT Analysis • Stakeholders mapping/actor constellation Possible participatory tools • Key informant surveys, including with local authorities
Prior to the point when IES systems are proposed, a clear understanding of the existing history and power
Step 3: Consulting • Be aware of power dynamics between stakeholders and establish ‘neutral territory’ for consultation • Establish transparent and regular consultation with buyers and sellers
• Reach out to under-represented and marginalized stakeholders • Investigate those who may experience secondary impacts • Consult with relevant governing and management entities local to regional scales
Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas
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