Udaypur visit for ecosystem services assessment

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A team of three people from ICIMOD visited the Udaypur district of Nepal from 31 August to 4 September 2013 to conduct a reconnaissance survey of the potential site for detailed assessment of ecosystem services. 

The team carried out consultation meetings with different government, non-government, and related line agencies of Udaypur district. The team briefed the District Forest Officer (DFO) of Udaypur about the Himalica program and the purpose of the visit. The meeting with the DFO sought to identify the potential site and the extent of its coverage for the ecosystem services assessment in Udaypur as well as identify potential line agencies in the governmental and non-governmental sector. 

Apart from the District Forest Office, meetings were held with District Soil Conservation Office, District Agriculture Development Office, and two Non-Governmental Oganizations, Samaj Bikash Kendra and Nava Prabhat.

The ‘Dumrithumka Community Forest User Group’, a woman-led CFUG was selected as the potential site for the reconnaissance survey of ecosystem services.  This was followed by a half-day consultation with the local people and the members of the CFUG. The discussion sought to identify the major ecosystems upon which the community largely depends, the major services provided by the ecosystems and their status as well as the strategies to manage the ecosystems together by improving livelihoods of the community. A pre-testing of the questionnaire for the Ecosystem Services Assessment was done in the site. 

The team also visited two micro-enterprises in the area: Sherpa Ayurvedic Drug Manufacturing Industry which is totally based on the medicinal herbs found in and around the same CFUG, and the Bay-leaf Oil Producing Plant supported by ICIMOD.

The visit was part of the ongoing detailed assessment and valuation of ecosystem services in selected sites in the Hindu Kush Himalaya region carried out by the Ecosystem Theme under Himalica programme. So far, three different sites in Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal have been selected.