Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas: A ‘Cookbook’ for Emerging IES Practitioners in the Region
knowledge and capacities of local communities and government agencies to carry out wildlife population surveys, species identification and population monitoring, habitat assessments, conservation and habitat management, prey-predator relationship assessments, conservation planning, sustainable resource use regulatory framework, conservation institutionalization etc. Furthermore, they developed institutional mechanisms for resource use regulation, accountability and responsible stewardship. There are numerous criteria to setting up a CTHP under this formulation. Among them, sites must be registered with a community-based conservation organization and provide information about all huntable species, including baseline information on population (size, structure and distribution) of trophy animals. This information is used to develop monitoring plans and techniques, including an informed approach to determining the population density of the species to be hunted and establishing the appropriate hunting seasons. As part of the CTHP, sites must establish agreements to cease illegal hunting/ poaching and habitat degradation. With respect to use of payments, the funds collected must be used in different sectors, and conservation initiatives must support wildlife conservation goals. Services, payment and beneficiaries: The sellers are members of upstream communities, for the most part agropastoral mountain dwellers who take care of Community Managed Conservation Areas (CMCA). In some cases, these individuals are former hunters, engaged as service providers for wildlife sighting, surveys and monitoring. Payments come from the buyers: either national and international trophy hunters or foreign and downstream resident visitors who purchase ecotourism services (e.g. wildlife sighting, nature camping, traditional food, rowing in mountain rivers, angling, yak polo and cultural activities). Custodian departments (the Forest, Wildlife and Environment Department in the case of Gilgit-Baltistan) help to negotiate, monitor, and institute policy, and may distribute some community funds collected to beneficiary households. Payment mechanisms are export permit fees and licence fees (where 80 per cent goes to the local communities for conservation and development and 20 per cent goes
to the government for regulation costs). In the 2014-15 hunting season, the licence fees per head for Markhor, Blue sheep and Ibex were US$ 67,500, US$ 8,800 and US$ 3,100 respectively. Similar programmes now exist in the Toshi Community, Chitral Pakistan (covering 14,850km2 and 20,000 households), where permits for Markhor have increased from US$ 15,000 in 1983 to present rates of US$ 81,000 per head. There is a ban on big-game hunting across Pakistan except where CTHPs have been established. Hunting is carefully planned and monitored to ensure minimal impacts on wild species. The annual quota for permitted hunts is very low due to the small populations of the species. For example, in the 2003– 2004 hunting season, only 30 permits were issued for Ibex, 12 for Markhor and four for Blue sheep (Emerton et al., 2006). The National Council for Conservation of Wildlife and Gilgit-Baltistan Wildlife Management Board play an important role inmonitoring and verifying the programme, confirming tags allocation for hunting and informing communities of their allocations. Lessons learned: Trophy hunting programmes can effectively contribute to conservation efforts and helping reduce unmanaged subsistence and poaching activity, provided that revenues are properly spent on awareness-raising, management, protection and habitat conservation (Blua, 2005). Local community leadership and responsibility for programme impacts has been seen as key to programme success. The Community-based Trophy Hunting Programme is seen as a simple, economical and environmentally beneficial IES scheme that has been an effective conservation tool for the protection of biodiversity (in general) and ungulates (in particular) in mountain areas of Pakistan, helped strengthen the participating communities’ social infrastructure, offered economic benefits to conservation communities for their social, economic and environmental well-being, and helped reduce illegal and unregulated hunting of rare and unique wild species in the region, which are an important mountain ecosystem service.
Anecdotal evidence from the study area reported an increase in revenue to local communities in Gilgit-
Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas
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