Valuating ecosystem services in Koshi River Basin


A joint research team from CICERO, GRID-Arendal, ICIMOD, and other partners within the Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP) has initiated fieldwork on valuation of ecosystem services in the Koshi River Basin (KRB).

Women in the field

Photo: CICERO/Bob van Oort

A number of in-field stakeholder discussions helped deduce a possible mechanism for implementation of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) in the KRB. 

While water was identified as a major ecosystem service in the basin, communities identified forest as a major contributor to water resource conservation and emphasized conserving and managing water sources through better management of forest once the PES mechanism is established. 

Exercise on Community Resource Mapping

Photo: CICERO/Bob van Oort

Water is a major ecosystem service considered under the PES mechanism in both upstream and downstream areas of the Koshi River. In the Shardu watershed in downstream Koshi, the rural-urban linkage is instrumental in setting up a PES mechanism linking Dharan municipality and the water supply corporation. 

Cultural and religious services will be considered at later stages while finalizing the valuation of ecosystem services.