The Support to Rural Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation in the Himalayas (Himalica) programme of ICIMOD organized a regional orientation training on ecosystem services assessment in December 2016 in Udayapur, Nepal. Fifteen technical people from various partner organizations in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan participated.
Organizers began by bringing greater clarity to the concept of ecosystem services assessment and highlighting its relevance in the context of the Himalica programme. Over the four days of the conference, participants received training in several facets of ecosystem services, including the tools and techniques necessary for assessing ecosystem services and fostering cooperation between groups to combat environmental degradation.
The training was both theoretical and practical, as participants went out into the community of Udayapur to practice their skills. They conducted participatory rural appraisals with local residents, employing a range of tools, such as mobility mapping, institutional mapping, seasonal calendars, pairwise rankings, focus group discussions, and community resource mapping.
Many participants expressed their appreciation for the training, saying the combination of classroom and hands-on training helped them to understand the social and natural dynamics of ecosystem services. ICIMOD plans to conduct more trainings like this in the future to help build the capacity and confidence of these important field workers.