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

Part III. Cautions

Designers and implementers of IES systems are obligated to monitor all affected parties and verify whether the intended outcome is being produced. Addressing unintended consequences

This also explicitly includes attention for the emergence of unintended consequences (and sometimes benefits). The nature of these changes should be incorporated into the adaptive management strategy, to improve the system over time. Unintended consequences can take many forms: social, environmental and distributional. Social impacts are the consequences that alter how people live, work, play, relate to one another, organize to meet their needs and generally cope as a society (IGCP, 1994). They include cultural impacts, including changes to norms, values and beliefs and therefore relationships, agreements and power distribution. Examples include labour rights, gender equity, access to education, health and sanitation, and cultural identity (Richards and Panfil, 2010). Unintended environmental consequences can occur when pressure to improve one part of the system results in the deterioration of another part of the system. Distributional impacts can affect the power balance, peace and resilience of a community. Contributing factors can include how secure a community’s livelihood is; whether deep differences in access to capital, loans and secure banking exist; whether there are large gender differences in access to resources, participation and empowerment to manage lands, finances or agreements; how resilient the community or households are to economic risk (for example for new businesses); whether buffers to broad systemic changes exist (petrol shortages, inflation etc.); and

differences in access to new technologies and integrated value chains (communication/cooperation with other producers) (Richards and Panfil, 2010). Sometimes actions can tip a longer-brewing disagreement into outright conflict, which may have negative impacts for the community. Checklist for avoiding unintended consequences • Systems analysis and mapping of land management/practice alternatives and drivers (If a change is made in one place, will it trigger an undesired change elsewhere?) • Inclusive, deliberative, transparent and ongoing community consultation • Is there social opposition/taboo/social tendency for the practices to remain the same, regardless of agreement or laws? • Travel to and consultation with the more remote community members • Have past agreements been upheld and their integrity maintained? • Examination of gender participation, actions for inclusion and distributing benefits • Understanding how finances or other incentives are ‘usually’ handled, documented and distributed. Are all users satisfied, do they trust the system? • In rural/remote areas are some groups or households better represented/participating more and what is the consequence of this?


Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas

Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online