Consultative Workshop on Ecosystem-Livelihood Linkages in the Eastern Brahmaputra

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In partnership with Aaranyak, a conservation NGO based in Assam, India, ICIMOD organized a two-day consultative workshop on ecosystem-livelihood linkages to identify and agree on key drivers of ecosystem change in the Brahmaputra River basin. At the workshop, organized as part of Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP) in Assam, India, 19–20 December, ecosystem-livelihood linkages were discussed prioritizing the role of key ecosystem goods and services in local livelihoods. A total of 50 participants from national development partners and ICIMOD discussed the possible ecosystem change scenarios of the Brahmaputra River basin. This workshop led to the development of future activities for assessing drivers of ecosystem change under the Ecosystem Services component of HICAP as well as an intervention plan on ecosystem services for the eastern Brahmaputra. An exposure visit to a nearby wetland, also declared an important bird area by Birdlife International, was organized to demonstrate changes in the ecosystem and the impact on endangered bird species and local livelihoods. 

Throughout the event, participants highlighted the need to improve understanding on how ecosystem stress resulting from to climate and non-climatic factors is leading to changes in the availability of ecosystem goods and services to communities in the region. Participants also suggested that research gaps on understanding ecosystem stress at a sub-basin level should be the key focus for future interventions and highlighted the need to design coordinated initiatives to address challenges while leveraging available knowledge on ecosystem change patterns in the region.