Orientation training on ecosystem services assessment


In a bid to work out a consistent and standard methodology that enhances understanding and capacity of partners for application of ecosystem assessment concepts, tools, and approaches, a regional orientation training on ecosystem services assessment was held from 3-7 April 2014.

Organized under the Rural Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation in the Himalayas (Himalica) Initiative, the orientation programme featured a day-long theoretical session on the concept of ecosystem management through proper household survey, valuation, and participatory tools. A hands-on training was also conducted in collaboration with Bird Conservation Nepal and a local implementing partner, Nabaprabhat Nepal. The theoretical session was held at ICIMOD Knowledge Park

The training brought together select experts, researchers, and policymakers from the region, particularly from Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal where Himalica has its presence. The training also discussed the timeline for field-based activities in the three countries.

The services provided by various ecosystems, considered as natural capital, are important contributors to economic development. However, overuse (because of high demand), unequal distribution of natural resources, and climatic variation induced by anthropogenic activities are leading to depletion and fragmentation of this natural capital.

Given the intrinsic link between ecosystem services and local communities’ livelihoods, it is important to manage and protect the ecosystem services to sustain economic development. Management through intervention is possible only when there is better knowledge on the status, trend, and projection of such ecosystem services. 

Therefore, ICIMOD is working towards the assessment of the status of integrated ecosystem services like provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural services.  As part of the Himalica Initiative, an Ecosystem Assessment Framework has been developed and will be used in Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal as a guiding document to formulate a standard and comparable methodology.