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

Possible improvements: Currently the participation in both watersheds is patchy, with treated areas separated by untreated areas. As the programmes are voluntary, more landowners could be included, and the work could be coordinated strategically to create a bigger effect. More data collection on the current project would enable fuller analysis and case improvement. For example, when commercial forests are reforested with public funds, it is not clear whether a private corporation benefits or where the revenue flows (into or out of communities). Similarly, other project contracts are unclear in terms of their length, their monetary value, how renewable they are, or how payment is distributed.

It is not currently clear whether downstream households or community members are aware of their connection with and dependence upon upstream action, and this can affect their willingness to pay. Land-use improvements and investments can target more intensive management of all mountain resources, including road/erosion improvement, forest planting and sustainable forestry management. As projects are currently ad hoc and dependent upon individual projects, longer-term planning could help institute more consistent and permanent actions and payment mechanisms to support longer-term sustainability.


Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas

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