Value of Forest Ecosystem Services A quantitative estimation from the Kangchenjunga landscape in eastern Nepal : Working Paper 2012/5 (2012)

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The ecosystem services derived from conservation areas have a high value for human wellbeing, but they do not receive due consideration in public policy in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. As a result, conservation areas do not receive adequate public support for participatory management and other conservation approaches. The lack of recognition is in part due to the lack of explicit calculations of the actual economic value of these areas for the local, regional, and global populations. This paper presents the results of an attempt to estimate the monetary value of the goods and services provided by the forest ecosystems of three districts around Mount Kangchenjunga in eastern Nepal. A market method was used for valuation of the provisioning services, a benefit transfer method for the regulating services, and a productivity method for the supporting services. The economic benefits of the forest ecosystem services in the three districts were estimated to be approximately USD 125 million, equivalent to about USD 360 per hectare per year. Almost 80 per cent of the total benefits were found to be from provisioning services, i.e., goods from the forests used directly or indirectly. It is hoped that estimating the economic value of the ecosystem services will help facilitate understanding of the importance of services that are otherwise ignored, and can be used to create awareness of the importance of conservation for rural households residing in or near conservation areas. This will help in advocating for incentive mechanisms for local communities to maintain the ecosystem and meet their livelihood needs by sustaining the flow of services. Planners and policy makers can also use the estimates in cost benefit analyses and in support of appropriate conservation related decisions. The methodology used in this study can be scaled up to support regional collaboration in conservation, and can be applied in other areas of the region after modification to take into account the local conditions.
ICIMOD Working Paper

ISBN: 978 92 9115 257 5
Language: English
Pages: 30
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 Record created 2013-01-23, last modified 2015-07-22