18–20 June: Workshop held on payment mechanisms for ecosystems good and services in rangelands


In collaboration with the Chengdu Institute of Biology, ICIMOD organized a workshop 18–20 June in Ya’an City, Sichuan Province, China, to share experiences of using an ecosystem services approach in rangeland conservation and development as well as to come up with policy suggestions and to develop guidelines for promoting payment of ecosystem services (PES) schemes in order to diversify pastoral livelihoods. The Planning Workshop on Payment Mechanisms for Rangelands Provisioning Ecosystem Goods and Services – Testing and Piloting had over 35 representatives from different governmental organizations and departments, NGOs, and academic institutions from Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. 

Topics discussed during the workshop included ecosystem services and PES, the benefits and risks of an ecosystem services approach to rangeland conservation and development, and how to inform policy makers about ecosystem services programmes in order to maximize the environmental and economic benefits of pastoral development. The workshop also facilitated experience sharing on:

  • rangeland protection and PES mechanisms; 
  • experience and gaps in PES schemes;
  • ecosystem services through rangeland resource management practices;
  • promoting carbon sequestration and PES schemes in rangelands; and
  • policies for improving PES design.
During group work, participants identified key issues and prepared recommendations for developing future programmatic interventions and promoting PES mechanisms in rangelands, with an emphasis on identifying gaps and conducting pilot studies on valuation, trade-offs, and bundling ecosystem services. The need to link rangeland ecosystem services with the international carbon market and the international policy dialogue on ecosystem services and PES was also stressed. 

The workshop commenced with an opening address on valuation and payments for ecosystem services in the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) by Prof Wu Ning, Programme Manager of ICIMOD’s Environmental Change and Ecosystem Services (ECES) Programme, followed by welcome addresses from Dr Zhao Xinquan, Director General of the Chengdu Institute of Biology, and Dr Zu Qing, Vice President of the Sichuan Agricultural University in Ya’an.