Ecosystem services

Various drivers of change, including the climate, are stressing the diverse ecosystems that make the HKH unique in terms of biological and cultural diversity.  Adaptation calls for an understanding of how and to what extent key drivers contribute to land cover and land use dynamics, and impact critical ecosystems and their services (e.g. bio resources, high value products, crop productivity, agrobiodiversity). 

Furthermore, identifying opportunities to manage ecosystems sustainably, and developing valuation of ecosystem services, are key to fostering community-based adaptation and to enhance livelihoods, alleviate poverty, and avert disaster and risk.

Outputs

The risks and opportunities of climate and other regional drivers of change for natural and managed ecosystems are analyzed and the implications for sustained ecosystem services and their values are assessed at the sub-basin level.

Strategic orientations

Ascertaining the role of ecosystem services and their values within the context of on-going climate change and long-term sustainability for community-based adaptation; linking the assessment of the current state of ecosystems and ecosystem services to climate and water scenarios; understanding other drivers of change (including land cover change and land use dynamics); assessing the impact of projected change on ecosystems and their services; assessing the implications on adaptation, policy recommendations to mainstream sustainable management of ecosystem services.

Activities

Assess the current state of ecosystems and ecosystem services within a variety of land-use types, including forest, rangelands, wetlands and agricultural systems; identify and assess drivers of change, trends, and projected climate change impacts on ecosystems and ecosystem services; quantify and valuate ecosystem services (current status, trends, and projected change scenarios); identify capacity building needs and enhance regional and national institutional capacity for monitoring and assessing impacts on ecosystem services; develop a valuation of ecosystem services including indicators to assess and monitor the impact of change; provide inputs to the development of strategic options and management interventions to enhance the sustainability of ecosystem services, and analyse implications to adaptation and policy; draw information from existing peer-reviewed and established international models on biodiversity and ecosystem change to link regional and local changes to adaptation strategies and methods recommendations.

Deliverables

Synthesis report on the current status and trends of representative ecosystems and their services; scenarios on the potential impacts of climate and other change on ecosystems services; relevant stakeholders trained on assessment and monitoring of ecosystem services; inputs into vulnerability assessment carried by other components; inputs into the development of policy options and adaptation strategies to maintain and enhance ecosystem services.