A Regional Orientation Training on Ecosystem Services Assessment (ESA)

   TwitCount

Background

Ecosystem services, as defined by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. The services that the ecosystem provides are generally classified into four types: provisioning services (food and water), regulating services (regulation of flood, drought, diseases), cultural services (recreational, spiritual/religious) and supporting services (soil formation and nutrient cycling). The health of the ecosystems and the services provided by them play crucial role in human survival and their well-being. However, excessive demand of ecosystem services arising from rapidly growing human population and several anthropogenic activities have led to the extensive modification of vital ecosystems of the world. This has generated global concerns as this undermines ecosystem functioning and resilience and thus threatens the ability of ecosystems to continuously supply the flow of services.

The concept of ecosystem services dates back to mid 1960s to early 1970s. However, it gained huge attention among scientific and global communities after the release of Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA). The MEA highlighted the importance of ecosystem services to human wellbeing and showed that anthropogenic activities have affected the natural processes and have diminished the capacity to provide services for future in many parts of the world. With the release of MEA, the number of publications on the subject has progressively increased. Continuous efforts are being made to integrate the concept into everyday planning, policies and decision making. However, there still exists a significant challenge to integrate the concept into everyday practice due to various limitations prevailed in the approaches.

Objectives

The regional orientation training on Ecosystem Services Assessment (ESA) aimed at enhancing capacity of the researcher (partners) on: concept, principles, tools and application of ecosystem based management, approaches and assessment of ecosystem services.

The specific objectives are to:

  • Bring clarity on the concept of ecosystem assessment and its rational linking to Himalica programme prior to partner‟s field level engagement
  • Enhance understanding, knowledge and skills of partners on application of various tools and techniques that are applied for ecosystem services assessment
  • Discuss and agree on the household survey research questionnaire on ecosystem services assessment and get inputs from the participants
  • Foster co-operation, partnership and network at regional levels through cross learning to address issues in relation to ecosystem services and their degradation

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