Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas: A ‘Cookbook’ for Emerging IES Practitioners in the Region

Willingness to pay for ecosystem services relies on the fact that the payment or other incentive system is producing the intended benefit. Monitoring must be pre-agreed (before the signature phase) and document a baseline as well as management change impacts at regular and pre-agreed intervals. Step 9. Monitoring

Monitoring also provides an important opportunity for follow-up: is the ecosystem able to support the service? How satisfied are producers and consumers of the IES system, and are adjustments needed? Are the producers still committed to providing the service? Have there been any unforeseen changes in land tenure or property rights that affect the IES system and payments? Strong and transparent monitoring can reinforce the credibility, assurance and sustainability of the IES system. In addition, continuous monitoring through a third party monitoring mechanism can be important to gauge the very long-term sustainability and effectiveness of the IES system. Generally, assessment will also include suggestions for modifying, continuing or renewing the IES system. This can include suggested revisions, new forms or terms of payment or other incentives,

Aspects to consider while monitoring • Is the agreed review time too long, too short, not frequent enough? • If upstream partners are not conducting or complying with monitoring, are they aware that buyers may lose the incentive to keep paying? • What does the performance/monitoring mechanism measure specifically (geography, time, unit measurement)? • Are there ‘free riders’, or is the benefit exceeding the rate of payment? • Has the future outlook for downstream needs been incorporated into planning?

new goals for the targeted ecosystem services, and incorporating or changing ecosystem service producers and consumers.











Step 9: Monitoring • Observe system for unintended consequences • Verify that management action and payment is occurring


Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas

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