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

(Chaudhary et al., 2015). This sediment resulted in the Rupa Lake area shrinking from 127 hectares in 1958 to 107 hectares in 1996. Sediments, nutrient levels from agriculture, and upstream effluent had also started to impact fishery users. In 2000, the Rupa Lake Rehabilitation and Fisheries Cooperative (RLRFC) was created by two community organizations and representatives of both upstream and downstream communities to provide incentives to communities to conserve the catchment. The RLRFC also manages fishery sales on behalf of the cooperative members, including establishing a fixed price for the fish at market. Collective management has resulted in

a rise in annual net profits and fish catches between 2002 and 2013 (Chaudhary et al., 2015).

Services, incentives and beneficiaries: Since 2008, the cooperative has also focused on setting aside 25 per cent of its annual net profit to Payments for Watershed Services (PWS). The watershed (environmental) services were incentivized based on negotiations between the RLRFC and upstream communities, as per their earlier Constitution. As the buyer (beneficiary) of these services, the RLRFC benefits from the provisioning of clean water for the fish farming operations in the lake. A secondary service provided by the lake is recreational. For example, the Chayanpur community

Groups or individuals supported (no.)

Support in cash NPR in 2013 (US$)

Activities performed

• Preservation of indigenous plant species in the watershed • Management of wetlands surrounding Rupa Lake • Awareness-raising on biodiversity conservation • Hands-on organic training • Low-tech and high-reward income generating activities • Protection of natural forest for healthy watershed • Bioengineering activities to stabilize active landslides • Afforestation of degraded lands • Protection from forest fire • Awareness-raising on the importance of wetland biodiversity • Education on the importance of ecotourism in the area • General information on the consequences of climate change • Essay competition on local and global environmental issues • Scholarship support to the children of economically marginalized members of the community, such as Jalahari • Community development through engaging youth • Skills training on income generating activities such as bee keeping • Training on the value of biodiversity conservation • Hands-on training on home gardening

Mothers groups (6)

45,000 (500)

CFUGs (17)

50,000 (556)

Schools (19) Students (52)

25,000 (278) 26,000 (289)

Youth clubs (5)

4000 (44)

Total investment NPR (US$)

150,000 (1667)

Table 4. Activities conducted by the collaborators supported by the Rupa Lake Restoration and Fishery Cooperative Ltd. Adapted from Chaudhary et al., 2015.


Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas

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