Ecosystem valuation and PES pilot in Shardu-Khola watershed


The International Centre for Integrated Mountain development (ICIMOD), in partnership with WWF Nepal, has initiated a pilot on Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) in Shardu-Khola watershed area in downstream Koshi under the Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP). 

The Shardu-Khola watershed is the main source of water to Dharan municipality, and is also an important ecosystem that provides various services. A team from ICIMOD is conducting field work on valuation of ecosystem services to develop a scientific understanding for underpinning the PES pilot in the watershed. ICIMOD is also supporting the capacity building of local stakeholders and enumerators on valuation. 

Recently a daylong stakeholder consultation was held in Dharan with a local partner - Center for Environment and Tourism Development - to identify and complement social processes in PES schemes. Around 70 participants from Dharan Integrated Watershed Conservation and Drinking Water Management Committee, district forest office, district soil conservation office, district development committee, Dharan Municipality, villages from the upstream and downstream areas, and the residents of Dharan municipality attended the consultation. The newly elected Member of Parliament from Sunsari Constituency No 1, Mr Krishna Kumar Rai, was the chief guest at the opening ceremony.

During the consultation, both upstream and downstream communities highlighted the role of upstream community in protecting water resources and the responsibility of downstream community to support upstream activities. Hands-on training was provided for the local partner and enumerators. Field work for household survey in Sardu-Khola Watershed is underway and will be completed by December 2013.