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

Main message: Tourists are willing to pay for tourist services and scenic beauty in Xihu National Wetland Park. Both private tourism companies and the local villagers are beneficiaries of these payments. However, the cost of maintaining the ecologically sound environment to support tourism is borne mostly by local villagers, with some support from government funding. More ecological costs could be borne by the private sector, and more actions could be taken to retain the IES revenue in the local community rather than it leaking out via externally owned businesses, imported foods, imported labour and imported building materials. Case 9: Local communities’ involvement in tourism activities — Xihu wetland, Yunnan, China

Setting: Xihu Lake, or West Lake, is located at the source of Lake Erhai in Eryuan County. The lake’s wetland (352.70 km2) coverage is 68 per cent water and 32 per cent marsh land, and constitutes 26.05 per cent of Eryuan West Lake National Wetland Park. The wetland’s 90 islands are home to 930 households, or 4,355 people across six villages.

The ecosystem services from the wetlands support resident livelihoods and provide fertile soil and other materials for agriculture. The local residents, called Bai people, use boats for transport and to collect material resources. The lake and wetland also deliver cultural and spiritual


Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas

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