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

This Cookbook is designed to help people interested in Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES). It is designed to allow the reader to rapidly gain familiarity with the entire process of establishing a functioning, sustainable and efficient IES system in the Himalayan context. Who is this Cookbook for?

exchange and the building of a community of practice, and ultimately as a tool to make advances where IES offers unrealized potential across the Himalayas. In addition, by highlighting the unique conditions and experiences of IES cases within the Himalayas, we believe that it is possible to mobilize the broader international community to support Himalayan experts and innovators in their task of producing sustainable benefits for the billions whose futures are at stake. The reader of this Cookbook is not expected to be ready to devise or implement an IES system on their own — quite the contrary! Effective IES systems are principally about engaging more people with more diverse values, in order to account for and support benefits that would otherwise be lost. Establishing a new IES programme is a substantial challenge for even the most experienced practitioners, often requiring years of background work, early consultation, solicitation of measurements and information, preparation, and community engagement before an IES system is even proposed. Implementation and measurement of results may not be forthcoming for many years thereafter.

This Cookbook should be of interest to those who have heard of definitions such as Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES), Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) or Incentive-based mechanisms for ecosystem services (IBM), or who have encountered one of their cases in practice, and who perhaps wish to set up an IES scheme themselves. The number of practitioners and communities who are experimenting with IES is advancing rapidly. Early conceptualization of IES often begins with one or a few innovative and energetic ‘champions’ searching for a way to do things differently. Once enthusiasm and engagement gives way to tangible and explicit discussion, a few key individuals become ‘architects’ of the IES system. The people who work directly in and with affected areas and communities on a daily basis are best positioned to help innovate, create and implement new toolkits and solutions for ecosystem services in the Himalayas. This Cookbook clarifies the ‘ingredients’ needed to design an IES system, in order to increase familiarity with terms and cases. It is our intention that this Cookbook serve as a catalyst for learning, knowledge


Incentives for Ecosystem Services (IES) in the Himalayas

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