Conference on ecosystem services and livelihoods


The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB) organized a three-day conference on ‘Ecosystem Services and Livelihoods in a Changing Climate: Understanding local adaptation in the Salween and Mekong Basins’ from 12 to 14 November 2013 in Kunming, China, under the Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP)

The conference brought together experts, professionals, and government officials from downstream and upstream areas of the Mekong and Salween Rivers Basins. Over 45 people including representatives from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shan State of Myanmar, and Mekong River Commission participated in the event.  

Photo credit: KIB China

Photo credit: KIB China

At the workshop, 12 case studies highlighting the present state of ecosystem and its interface with livelihoods in the two River Basins were presented. Participants agreed on the need for upstream-downstream cooperation in the Mekong and Salween River Basins.

The conference also included a daylong field visit to Song Hua Ba Watershed, a major source of drinking water for the residents of Kunming city. The field visit provided an overview of a payment of ecosystem services (PES) scheme in place which implements a long-term social incentive plan to reward local communities for their contribution towards conserving the watershed and ensuring potable water supply to the Kunming city. The local government’s role was crucial in facilitating and underpinning the whole process.