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Assessment of benefits and values of protected areas in the Hindu Kush Karakoram Pamir Landscape


Online – moderated centrally from the ICIMOD headquarters in Kathmandu, Nepal, and facilitated by country focal points in the designated IT nodes in the respective countries

Date & Time

29 November 2021 to 30 November 2021


Ghulam Ali

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Assessment of benefits and values of protected areas in the HKPL


About the workshop

This virtual workshop aims to strengthen the ecosystem-based management of ecologically contiguous protected areas (PAs) in Hindu Kush Karakoram Pamir Landscape (HKPL) countries. Specifically, the workshop’s objectives are as follows:

  • Identify benefits, benefit flows, and value of benefits accrued and anticipated from the six PAs (listed in the “Background” section)
  • Discuss the PAs for ecosystem services shared beyond national borders in the HKPL
  • Identify opportunities for the joint management of ecosystem services at the landscape level

The following outcomes are expected by the end of the workshop:

  • A checklist of benefits and values of the six PAs, covering both economic and non-economic uses/values
  • A list of stakeholders – local and transboundary, including but not limited to communities, governments, businesses, etc.
  • Information about key changes in PA ecosystems, their drivers, and impacts on ecosystem services
  • Suggestions for the joint management of shared PA resources, services, and benefits in the HKPL – a stakeholder’s perspective


Proposed participants

At least 12–15 participants from each country in the landscape, representing the following key groups from each PA, will participate in the workshop:

  • Local communities, living inside the PAs or in the periphery/buffer zone – who rely on PA resources for their livelihood and household economy
  • Civil society organizations including local community organizations (e.g. Khunjerab Valley Organization, Qurumber Valley Conservation and Development Organization, and Shimshal Natural Trust) and other groups (e.g. herders, beekeepers, hunters, fishers)
  • Park authorities – field, supervisory, and managerial staffs
  • Local administration – district or provincial governments and their line departments, such as environment, forest and wildlife, water and power, and tourism
  • Businesses and enterprises (tourism/ecotourism) and those industries that rely on PA resources, such as water resources that supply hydro-electric power, drinking/bottled water, medicinal and aromatic herbs, and firewood and fodder to the wider population
  • Research institutions/universities and local media.



The HKPL is a transboundary complex spread across 67,506 km2, covering parts of Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. It is a highly fragile alpine ecosystem at the junction of three mountain ranges – the Karakoram, the Hindu Kush, the Pamir, and the Himalaya. The area is home to over one million people from the Wakhi, Kyrgyz, Sarakuli, Kho, Burusho, Shinaki, Yashkun, Pamiri, and Kazakh ethnic groups. The landscape is also rich in biodiversity, including the snow leopard (Panthera uncia), Himalayan brown bear (Ursus arctos isabellinus), the Marco Polo sheep (Avis ammon polii) and markhor (Capra falconeri).

The core area of HKPL comprises six PAs shared among the landscape countries that offer tremendous benefits and services to local communities, institutions, and businesses. These PAs include Wakhan National Park in Afghanistan; Taxkorgan Nature Reserve in China; Broghil National Park, Khunjerab National Park, and Qurumber National Park in Pakistan; and Zorkul Nature Reserve in Tajikistan.

Agriculture, energy, fisheries, and tourism are the key economic sectors that benefit most from the ecosystem services that these PAs provide. However, the PA resources are often over-exploited, but the economic gains are usually underestimated, irrespective of their social, economic, and environmental value. At present, there is no proper system of pricing and marketing the high-value ecosystem services offered by the PAs, and nor is the cost of ecosystem degradation considered by concerned planners in resource management decisions. It is not enough to simply say that PAs offer numerous benefits; they need to be economically assessed for wider recognition and consideration by planners and decision makers.

The HKPL Initiative is one of the four transboundary landscape initiatives of ICIMOD. The initiative aims to foster biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the HKPL region through the science–policy–practice connect and regional cooperation among the landscape countries under the banner of the Bam-e-Dunya Network.



All the time is in Nepal Standard Time (NPT)

Time Agenda Speaker
Opening session

Moderator: Babar Khan, Senior Ecosystem Management Specialist, ICIMOD

10:00–11:00 Welcome and objectives Nakul Chettri, Regional Programme Manager – Transboundary Landscapes, ICIMOD
HKPL – a transboundary landscape Initiative Ghulam Ali, Programme Coordinator – HKPL Initiative, ICIMOD
Remarks from HKH representatives (5 min each) Country representatives
Announcements – IT and logistics (if any) Rays Rajbhandari, IT Associate, ICIMOD
Technical Sessions: Context setting
11:00–11:15 Mountain PAs: Ecosystem values and benefits Babar Khan, Senior Ecosystem Management Specialist, ICIMOD
11:15–12:15 Presentation (10 minutes) on six PAs of HKPL (key questions will be provided) Park managers
12:15–13:00 Lunch break
Breakout session 1: HKPL PAs – benefits, values and beneficiaries
13:00–15:00 Group work: Assessing values and benefits of PAs

  • · Identify main ecosystems in the PAs and enlist their salient features
  • · Enlist ecosystem services – benefits and values – uses accrued or expected from the PAs
  • · Identify key changes in ecosystem services and its drivers, and discuss its implications for local food security and livelihoods of communities and relevance for other stakeholders
Babar Khan, Senior Ecosystem Management Specialist, ICIMOD


15:00–15:45 Plenary: Presentation by country group leads (5 minutes x 4) followed by discussion (25 minutes) for clarification, validation, and consensus Group Leads
15:45–16:00 Concluding Day 1 and plan for Day 2 Babar Khan, Senior Ecosystem Management Specialist, ICIMOD

Time Agenda Speaker
10:00–10:10 Recap of Day 1 Srijana Joshi Rijal, Ecosystem Specialist, ICIMOD
10:10–12:30 Breakout session 2: Valuating the PA benefits

Track the flow chain of each benefit from goods and services (whom it flows to and value proposition – quantifying and putting a value tag to each unit service/use/benefit [current or future] from the PA)

Abid Hussain, Food Security Economist, ICIMOD
Plenary: Presentation by group leads followed by discussion (30 min)
12:30–13:30 Lunch break
13:30–15:30 Breakout session 3: Enlist transboundary ecosystem services and identify means of cooperation for joint management

List down main ecosystem services (uses/benefits) of the PAs that are transboundary / flow across international boundaries in HKPL, which and can be jointly managed by more than one country. Also suggest ways for doing so (means of cooperation)

Babar Khan, Senior Ecosystem Management Specialist, ICIMOD
Plenary: Presentation by group leads followed by discussion (30 min)
15:30–16:00 Conclusion and way forward Ghulam Ali, Programme Coordinator, HKPL Initiative, ICIMOD
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