27 Sep, 2023
Despite the significant contributions of Himalayan forests to ecosystem services, they often remain unrecognised and unrewarded by other sectors. The recognition of Forest Ecosystem Services (FES) should begin with incentivising their preservation. This means providing rewards and incentives to encourage stakeholders, including local communities, forest managers, and policymakers, to adopt practices that promote the sustainable use and conservation of forest resources. The implementation of Incentive-based Mechanisms (IbMs) requires a comprehensive and participatory approach, engaging stakeholders at various levels, from local communities to government agencies, to ensure the effectiveness and acceptance of these mechanisms.
Group Photo of the Participants ©GIZ/AashimaNegi
In alignment with these efforts, the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystem Services Project organised a state-level multi-stakeholder consultation on IbMs and the Himachal Pradesh Payment for Ecosystem Services (HP-PES) Policy in Shimla on 27 September 2023. The consultation specifically targeted stakeholders from various departments beyond Forests, including Planning, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Rural Development, Horticulture, Himalayan Forest Research Institute, and Irrigation and Public Health (IPH). The event was chaired by Mr. Rajiv Kumar, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Head of Forest Force). In his opening remarks, the Chief Conservator of Forests welcomed the participants and provided a brief context on the objective of the consultation.
Mr. Ravindra Singh, Director of the Indo-German Biodiversity Programme, emphasised the interdependencies of various departments for sustainable conservation and management of forests. Dr. Basu Sood, Advisor to the Planning Department, highlighted the importance of disincentive mechanisms in ensuring the sustainable management of ecosystem services. The PCCF (HoFF) shared insights into the PES Policy of the state and the necessity of translating operational guidelines into action at the grassroots level. He also stressed the importance of building community capacities to manage supply and buyer mechanisms, ensuring better market linkages.
The highlight of the event was the active participation of various stakeholders in discussions regarding the operational feasibility and challenges of the following designed IbMs:
The consultation concluded with a vote of thanks from the HPFD, and the next steps involve scheduling meetings with other pertinent departments for continued engagement. A similar consultation is also planned for the state of Uttarakhand.
Participants Sharing Insights during the Consultation ©GIZ/AashimaNegi
Introductory Remarks by Mr. Rajiv Kumar ©GIZ/AashimaNegi
Integrating the lessons from HP-FES, a follow-up project on ‘Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystem Services (FES)’ is being implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, State Forest Departments of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and GIZ India on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It aims to strengthen forest and agroforest management to integrate the Forest Ecosystem Services approach with a focus on water availability. Read More
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