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Developing methodologies for the valuation of ecosystem services




Bumthang, Bhutan

Date & Time

09 September 2023 to 13 September 2023

About the workshop

The UWIFoRT, DOFPS, and ICIMOD are jointly organising the workshop with technical support of the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) to build the capacity of officials and researchers from Bhutan on the valuation of ecosystem services. In particular, the workshop will help identify and develop appropriate methodologies for the valuation of ecosystem services of the Chamkharchhu River Basin.


  • Capacity building of staff from partner institutions in Bhutan on ecosystem services valuation
  • Develop standardised methodologies for the valuation of ecosystem services of the Chamkharchhu River Basin to be implemented by UWIFoRT, DOFPS supported by Bhutan for Life


Expected outputs
  • Built the capacity of the Bhutan team to carry out a valuation of ecosystems services starting from the Chamkharchhu River Basin
  • At least 20 people from Bhutan trained in designing ecosystem services valuation methodologies used for the valuation of ecosystem services of the Chamkharchhu River Basin
  • Methods developed of different ecosystem services valuation for use in the Bhutan’s context led by UWIFoRT, and DOFPS by assisting to frame specific questions and parametric measurements and variables of ecosystem services for valuation


  • 09–10 September 2023: Understanding conceptual aspects of the ecosystem services valuation, and exposure to the key methods used
  • 11 September 2023: Field visit to get first-hand information from the study site
  • 12–13September 2023: Identify the key ecosystem services from the river basin for valuation and develop appropriate methodologies



Ecosystems are multi-functional and provide a wide range of services that are essential for the sustainable development of human societies. Valuation of the ecosystem’s services or nature’s contribution to people has emerged as a very useful tool for policymakers and managers of ecosystems to determine management priorities, balance the interests of stakeholders and design incentive mechanisms for ecosystem management.

To guide national conservation planning and investment, the Department of Forests and Park Services, Bhutan through its multiple-year programme Bhutan for Life, intends to estimate the value of the ecosystem services of all its protected areas and biological corridors using appropriate and established methodologies. Ecosystem services valuation for the Chamkharchhu Basin has been prioritised in the current fiscal year. The purpose of the valuation is to estimate the economic values of the ecosystem services that the Chamkharchhu River Basin generates, which then helps the government for making informed decisions on the alternative uses of the river system.

The Rangeland Intervention (Managing Rangelands for Multiple Benefits) under ICIMOD’s Medium Term Action Plan (MTAP V) 2023-2026 aims to support our regional member countries in adopting inclusive policies and innovative practices to conserve, restore, manage, and sustainably use rangelands/wetlands and reverse their degradation. The intervention supports our national partners to develop evidence-based enabling policies and institutions that are fit for the purpose of managing rangelands for multiple benefits. Building the institutional capabilities of the national partners to value ecosystem services or nature’s contribution to people is an important step toward this purpose.


Key resource persons

Mani Nepal is the Programme Coordinator for SANDEE and Lead Economist at ICIMOD, who provides leadership on SANDEE’s research, training and research capacity building activities. Earlier, he was an Associate Professor of Economics, Tribhuvan University; Distinguished Visiting Professor, Kyoto University; Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico, USA; Visiting Professor, Kathmandu University; and Adjunct Professor, Agriculture and Forestry University. He also worked as a Senior Economist at the Department of Finance and Administration, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. With research interest in the intersection of development and environmental issues, Nepal is a Fulbright scholar with an MS degree in Policy Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and PhD in Economics from the University of New Mexico, USA.

Subhrendu K Pattanayak is the Oak Professor of Environmental and Energy Policy at Duke University. He studies the causes and consequences of human behaviours related to the natural environment to help design and evaluate policy interventions in low-income countries. His research is in three domains at the intersection of environment, development, health, and energy: forest ecosystem services, environmental health (diarrhoea, malaria, respiratory infections) and household energy transitions. He has focused on design of institutions and policies that are motivated by enormous inequities and a range of efficiency concerns (externalities, public goods and imperfect information and competition). Pattanayak has collaborated closely with multi-lateral agencies, NGOs, governments, and local academics in Brazil, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the U.S.

A.K. Enamul Haque is Professor of Economics at East West University (Dhaka, Bangladesh), Director of the Economic Research Group, Executive Director of Asian Center for Development, member of SANDEE’s Steering and Advisory Committees, and member of the South Asian Network for Environmental Law and Policy. Haque is an environmental economist with extensive research and teaching experience in climate change, agriculture, and urban issues in developing countries with a focus on South Asia and Bangladesh. Haque has MSc and PhD degrees in resource and environmental economics from the University of Guelph, Canada.

Pranab Mukhopadhyay is Professor of Economics and Vice-Dean (Research) at the Goa Business School at Goa University, India. He is a fellow at SANDEE and INSEE, and formerly President of INSEE (2016-18). Earlier, he worked as an environmental economist for IUCN, Nepal. He currently is a co-editor of the journal Ecology, Economy and Society — the INSEE journal. His areas of work include managing commons, nature and society, sustainable development, ecosystem services, and economic growth. Mukhopadhyay studied economics at Presidency College, Calcutta and Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.

Srijana Joshi is an Ecosystem Specialist under the intervention Regeneration and Restoring landscapes at ICIMOD. She has a PhD in the evolutionary ecology of invasive plants from the University of Tuebingen, Germany, and a master’s degree in plant ecology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. With over ten years of experience in the field of ecology and natural resources management, her main interest is in integrating scientific knowledge into sustainable development and environmental degradation solutions. Her work focuses on better understanding and practical application of research in rangeland degradation, invasive species, and biodiversity conservation.She has over 40 papers which include peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, books, working papers, and technical reports. She is also focal person for IUCN.

About the organising institutions

ICIMOD is an intergovernmental knowledge and learning centre that develops and shares research, information, and innovations to empower people in the eight regional member countries of the HKH – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. We serve the region through information and knowledge generation and sharing to find innovative solutions to critical mountain problems. We bridge science with policies and on-the-ground practices. We provide a regional platform where experts, planners, policy makers, and practitioners can exchange ideas and perspectives towards the achievement of sustainable mountain development. We facilitate knowledge exchange across the region, help customize international knowledge and tailor it to the region’s needs and bring regional issues to the global stage.

SANDEE at ICIMOD supports ICIMOD’s programmatic work and strengthens the Centre’s economic and policy analysis. It is a research capacity and academic leadership development network that works in South Asia and the HKH region and supports researchers from the region and institutions interested in understanding the inter-connections between economic development, the environment, and the use of natural resources through rigorous research.


Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Forestry Research and Training

Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Forestry Research and Training is one of the functional divisions of the Department of Forests and Park Services with research and training mandates. We strive to foster better stewardship of our natural heritage – land, water, air, and species therein- through rigorous science-based research and transfer the results to field practitioners, environmental leaders and policymakers. Our current focus areas are defined by needs and challenges within Bhutan and outside. On the training and education front, we conduct various professional trainings for in-service personnel to upgrade their knowledge and skills on emerging sciences and technological advancements.


Bhutan for Life

Bhutan for Life is a Project Finance for Permanence, first of its kind in Asia and one of the PFP models in the world. BFL is a legal entity established under the auspices of Royal Charter granted by His Majesty the King on 27 July 2018 to support the achievement of robust network of Protected Areas that contributes to biodiversity conservation, human-well-being, and increases Bhutan’s resilience to the effects of climate change by providing long-term financing.