Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas: A ‘Cookbook’ for Emerging IES Practitioners in the Region
Mainmessage: Tourism incentives offer many opportunities for ecosystem service producers and consumers, with implications for the protected areas, buffer areas, and the surrounding communities and economies. Often the producers under- or over-estimate the willingness of visitors to pay. Encouraging the service sector (hoteliers, tourist industry, etc.) and value added services from them can create a new paradigm of support for ecosystems and communities. Case 2: Sustainable tourism – Chitwan National Park, Nepal
Setting: Chitwan National Park is the first national park in Nepal. Established in 1973, it is home to sizeable wildlife populations, including the tiger, and has the second largest population in the world of the Greater White Horned Rhino. The core area of Chitwan National Park, located in Chitwan District, covers 932 km2. An additional area of 750 km2 surrounding the park was declared a buffer zone in 1996. This buffer zone consists of forests (45 per cent). The remaining 55% is private lands, including cultivated lands (Silwal et al., 2016). There is a population of 223,260 in the municipalities in the buffer zone. The national park receives about
160,000 visitors per year (Table 1), 86 per cent of whom are international tourists, indicating a potentially higher amount of revenues with value added services. Services, payment and beneficiaries: As authorized by the (National) Buffer Zone Management Regulation mandate (1996), the government must pay 30–50 per cent of the total revenue generated from entry fees to the Buffer Zone Communities, although it is not clear how the 30 to 50 per cent values were determined. This revenue provision principally serves to preserve the cultural and aesthetic value of biodiversity.
2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14
Table 1. Annual Tourist Arrivals to Chitwan National Park. Source: DNPWC Annual progress report, 2016)
Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas
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