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

A Forest Carbon Trust Fund (FCTF) seed grant (US$ 100,000 per year for 2011–2013) through the Climate and Forest Initiative of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) was established to offer performance-based financial incentives to local communities for conserving forests, preventing deforestation and enhancing carbon reserves (Maraseni et al., 2014). REDD+ payments were allocated to local communities based on four criteria: 1. the quantity of forest carbon saved above the baseline 2. the number of households of indigenous peoples and minority groups 3. the ratio of men to women, and 4. the number of poor households within the project area.

in the Kayarkhola watershed sequestered slightly more than 2.5 million tons of carbon in 2011, which represented an increase in 12,087 tons compared to 2010. In total, the watershed was awarded US$ 21,905 (ANSAB, n.d. b). The FCTF transferred funds to Community Forest User Groups involved in the pilot project: Shree Janapragati CFUG, Pragati CFUG and Samfrang CFUG. Funds can be used for community forest management activities, livelihood-improvement activities, or group- strengthening activities such as capacity-building, awareness-raising and carbon monitoring. Through consensus, a CFUG may also decide to give a portion of the seed grant money to the poorest households in their community. For example, Janapragati CFUG used its grant mainly for poor and Dalit people, including house building, and a “Paada-paadi” (goat farming programme) was also initiated. A small portion of community forests inside the CFUG was

CFUGs require a step-by-step process in order to access awards (ICIMOD, 2012). Through the scheme, CFUGs

Figure 6. Land cover in the Khayarkhola watershed for 2002, 2009 and 2012 (top row, left to right) and changes in land cover for two periods, 2002-2009 and 2009-2012 (bottom row). Source: (Gilani et al., 2015)


Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas

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