Understanding Social–Ecological Interdependence Using Ecosystem Services Perspective in Bhutan, Eastern Himalayas (2018)

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Biophysical and economic values are often used to aid understanding of the complex interplay between ecosystems, their services, and human well-being, but community values are rarely considered. In a case study of Barshong gewog in Bhutan, we used mapping methods that involved (1) local knowledge and perceptions collected using participatory rural appraisal tools, (2) a household survey, and (3) geospatial inputs, to understand the linkages between human well-being and ecosystem services at the local level, as perceived by the community. The study identified three major ecosystems—forest, agriculture, and freshwater—that contribute highly to local livelihoods. Collectively, these ecosystems provide a wide range of goods and services, including 22 provisioning, 13 regulating, 4 supporting, and 6 cultural services. About 85% of the households depend directly upon provisioning ecosystem services for their livelihoods and income. The study also identified the importance of the ecosystems in terms of three value domains—ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural.
Year: 2018
Language: English
In: Ecosphere, 9 (2): e02121-n/a p.

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