Policy Outreach and Stakeholder Outreach

Valuing, Managing and INvesting in Ecosystem Services in South Asia Recognizing the many significant services that ecosystems offer humanity, India has implemented multiple strategies to conserve critical ecosystems and stem the loss of biodiversity. However, even as scientific knowledge and management practices improve, ecosystems services across South Asia continue to steadily erode. Thus, we urgently need practical action that builds on evidence related to changes in ecosystem services, their implications for human well-being and management solutions that are effective.
In an effort to better understand the challenges associated with conserving ecosystem services, the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change, GIZ and SANDEE are jointly organizing a workshop on ‘Valuing, Managing and Investing in Ecosystem Services in South Asia’ on April 28th and 29th in New Delhi. This workshop builds on a research program on ‘the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)’ in India, co-organized by GIZ and the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change, Government of India, in 2014-15 on ecosystem services associated with wetlands, forests and marine and coastal systems. It also draws on research on ecosystems management by the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE).
The Delhi workshop will focus on key themes that are relevant to ecosystems management in South Asia: a) valuation and contributions of ecosystem services to livelihoods and human welfare; b) strategies that enable conservation of threatened ecosystem services; c) conflict and trade-offs among different stakeholders at multiple scales; and d) policy levers and instruments amenable to conserving ecosystem services.
Building on on-going research and dialogue on the value of ecosystem services, the objective of the Delhi workshop will be to share knowledge, identify policy lessons and examine the feasibility of converting research results to actionable management and policy changes at the local to national levels. The workshop will examine priorities to scale-up research results and identify key strategies that could make a difference on the ground.

SANDEE participated in SIDA’s Development Talks program in Stockholm on May 5th 2015. The workshop brought together economists and ecologists from Sweden and around the world to think about ‘Environmental Economics’ as a strategy for sustainability. SIDA’s Director General, Charlotte Petri Gornitzka opened the workshop. SANDEE Founder Board member Sir Partha Dasgupta spoke of the importance of local ecosystems and local action in addressing global problems. Directors from the regional environmental economics networks (SANDEE, EEPSEA, CEEPA and LACEEP) and Environment for Development Centers identified examples of how environmental economics matters and what has been done to build capacity to address the complex problems we face. Priya Shyamsundar discussed SANDEE’s research related to REDD+ as an example of local actions affecting global changes…. More
Development Talk Flyer, SIDA development talk – SANDEE

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and IGBP will jointly host a symposium on 29 April 2015 in connection with IGBP’s 30th Scientific Committee meeting. The symposium will commemorate Dr. Mike Raupach, a longstanding member of the IGBP community who passed away earlier this year… More
Agenda IGPB April 2015, SANDEE Presentation

Co-organized by the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, this workshop is a natural continuation of the conversation begun in October 2013 at the ‘Valuing and Accounting for the Environment in Asia’ conference co-sponsored by SANDEE. Attendees will include representatives from SANDEE, The World Bank, the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, the South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. The objective of the workshop is examine strategies for valuing and accounting for natural capital, particularly in North-Eastern India… More
Presentation SANDEE, Agenda Policy Dialogue Kolkata 2014

This was a brain storming workshop sponsored by SANDEE and coordinated by ATREE in Bangalore that identified inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary questions and knowledge gaps that need urgent attention in the South Asia context on ecosystem services. The objectives of the workshop was to: a) identify policy gaps in knowledge about the economics of ecosystem services; b) evolve a research agenda for the next 5 years to meet these policy gaps; and c) explore possibilities for inter-disciplinary research.
A small group of multi-disciplinary participants reflected on and answered a set of questions prior to the workshop. The questions were related to research priorities for the future, what specific ecosystem services (and disservices) should we focus on based on policy priorities/demand, i.e. where are the opportunities for improved understanding of ecosystem services to lead to changes in their management; b) what are the political, economic and scientific questions that need to be addressed to better manage these specific services? c) what are some deep methodological challenges in examining the contributions of these specific services to human welfare and which of these services are more easily examined by multi-disciplinary teams? d) what are some strategies to enhance research on measuring, valuing and managing these services?
Participant List

A short movie on SANDEE’s vision and mission was broadcast the 14th Annual Conference of the National Council on Science and the Environment, 28-30 January 2014, Washington DC, USA Read more…
Watch 5 minute Video

This was regional workshop co-convened by the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE), UNEP and UN-ESCAP, in collaboration with the World Bank, UN Statistics Division, UNDP and regional partners, Asian Development Bank’s Core Environment Program, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), INSEE and EEPSEA. The workshop brought together senior policy practitioners and government statisticians from several countries in Asia, along with experts on the environment and national accounts, to discuss approaches to augment existing macroeconomic aggregates such as gross domestic product in order to better account for the environment. The objective of the workshop was to share knowledge about existing accounting practices, identify policy uses and challenges to integrating environment into national accounting frameworks and examine strategies for valuing the environment. The workshop allowed participants to discuss and agree on ways forward for implementing ecosystem valuation and accounting in the Asia region.
Related videos can be viewed at
Agenda Valuing and Accounting 2013, Policy Brief

R. Balasubramanian’s dissemination seminar (based on his SANDEE research) at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India in July 2013 received widespread press coverage and discussion. This is because the study signals for a need to review electricity pricing policy for agriculture. Findings from this study on climate change and its impact on groundwater irrigation show that for every one degree Celsius increase in temperature, the groundwater table is likely to fall by 0.30-0.55 meters. Similarly, poor rainfall, increase in the number of wells and increase in area under water-intensive crops such as sugarcane and coconut could cause a significant fall in the water table level in Tamil Nadu. The findings show that there has been a steady fall in water table level after the introduction of a full subsidy for electricity used in groundwater pumping for agriculture. Small and marginal farmers are the worst affected due to increasing scarcity of groundwater.

SANDEE organize a three-week training course in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics for Economists from 2nd – 20th May, 2010. The course was meant for practicing South Asian economists interested in upgrading their research skills and learning related to environmental and natural resource economics.
The two-day workshop brought together some 35 policy makers from Finance, Planning, Agriculture, Environment, Energy and other sector ministries from several countries across Asia. The workshop discussed the broad linkages among environmental change, poverty, and economic development and to jointly examine the challenges of ‘greening’ development. The workshop was jointly organized by UNDP, UNEP and SANDEE as part of an effort to integrate environment into development planning and thinking.
Session 10.1: Panel discussion on Climate and Environmental Public Expenditure Reviews, Bhutan
Session 14.2: Evaluating our development programs – Country Examples, Pakistan
Session 8: Addressing climate change: decentralized energy management in India
Session 6: Fixing market failures by valuing the environment
Session 4.3 – Panel discussion on mineral wealth, fiscal revenues and environmental conservation, Philippines
Session 4.2 – Panel discussion on mineral wealth, fiscal revenues and environmental conservation, Philippines
Session 4.1 – Panel discussion on mineral wealth, fiscal revenues and environmental conservation, India
Session 2.2: Developments in greening accounts – Country examples, India
Session 2.1: Developments in greening accounts – Country examples, Bhutan
Session 1: Are we really growing? Measuring and accounting for well- being and the environment
Session 9: Adapting to Climate change in Bangladesh
Session 14.1: Evaluating our development programs – Country Examples, India
Session 13: Examining development interventions: Are Cook stoves a win win?
Session 12.3: Markets for ecosystem goods and bads — REDD+ and Wildlife Insurance — Country Examples, Indonesia
Session 12.2: Markets for ecosystem goods and bads — REDD+ and Wildlife Insurance — Country Examples, Bhutan
Session 11: Managing our ecosystems
Session 10.3: Panel discussion on Climate and Environmental Public Expenditure Reviews, Nepal
Session 10.2: Panel discussion on Climate and Environmental Public Expenditure Reviews, Bangladesh
Session 12.1: Markets for ecosystem goods and bads — REDD+ and Wildlife Insurance — Country Examples, India
Session 3: Economic instruments for greening development

Given the reality of climate change, India and the other South Asian countries need to begin to identify the best strategies to adapt to climate change. In order to do so, we need an understanding of the impacts of climate change on different sectors, the strategies available to reduce these impacts and the costs of adaptation. Even as we examine issues related to climate adaptation, we need to also understand how the other drivers of change interact with climatic changes and increase the economic vulnerability of different communities. The objective of this workshop is to tease out and identify some of the important issues that need to be more fully understood in the area of climate change adaptation. The workshop seeks to identify a set of research, training and policy priorities.
Agenda, Participant List, Policy Note

This workshop was jointly organized by UNDP, UNEP, the Planning Commission of Bangladesh and SANDEE. The objective was to develop a more rigorous understanding of the economic analysis required as Bangladesh considers various climate and adaptation options. The workshop examined economic analysis in Bangladesh and review methodologies, economic results and priority areas for research.
Please follow this link to find the power point slides from different presenters at the workshop.

A three-day workshop / policy seminar, Banking on mangroves: a case for investing in coastal ecosystems, was organized jointly by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Pakistan and the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE). The speakers, panel and attendees were drawn from coastal ecosystem experts, researchers, policy makers, academics, NGO representatives, government ministers, and coastal community representatives along with IUCN staff/members. The workshop focused on valuation of coastal ecosystems,community management and restoration of mangroves.
From SANDEE, Priya Shyamsundar and Mani Nepal participated in the workshop as did researchers Saudamini Das and Santadas Ghosh, who presented their coastal ecosystem related research. On day three, there was a plenary panel that included a number of senior decision makers including the Minister of Environment, Sindh, Hafeez Pasha, the former head of UNDP Asia, the CEO of Pakistan Petroleum Limited, and the leader of a fisheries mass movement. The Minister of Environment, Baluchistan was also present. This workshop’s outcomes will feed into a coastal management plan being developed by IUCN. Some of the links for the media coverage of this event are given below:

The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE), UNDP and UNEP jointly organized a workshop on ‘Economic development, Poverty Reduction and Environmental Change: A Workshop for South Asian Policy Makers’. This workshop tried to expose policy makers to the broad linkages between environmental change, poverty, and economic development. Since the countries in the South Asian region face significant environmental challenges, adopting the right policies and management strategies can contribute to sustainable development. Policy makers would benefit from an improved understanding of conceptual as well as practical linkages between environment and development. The workshop introduced the participants to various tools and techniques that are available for improving growth and reducing the negative impacts on the environment.
Agenda, Participant List
Session 1 – Environment and Economy Linkages R.N. Bajracharya


Related content

Research Dissemination and Presentations
read more
Research Publications
read more
Popular Press
read more