Forests, lifeline of the mountains and plains
Mountain forests are crucial not only for the people residing in the mountains, but also for the large population of the adjacent plains.They provide a number of ecosystem services like water and climate regulation, soil conservation, provision of resources critical for local livelihoods, and abundant recreational values.
Himachal Pradesh (HP) is one of the mountain states of India. With around 3300 plant, species and more than 5700 animal species, the state is rich in biodiversity, which is key to the important services that the state’s forests provide. By understanding the significance of forest ecosystems, their values for humans, and the planet at large, communities have the potential to play a significant role in mainstreaming biodiversity conservation into developmental planning.
The project aims to enable the Forest Department of Himachal Pradesh to introduce the FES approach in the state’s forest management. This will be done through the development of forest management systems focussing on the optimisation of FES, together with the Forest Department and the local communities. The project will build the capacity of local communities, and the Forest Department to implement the FES approach.
The FES approach is expected to result in improved biodiversity, as well as enhanced flow of forest ecosystem services. It provides a long-term development potential for the rural population. To monitor the effects of the FES approach, a Long Term Ecological Monitoring (LTEM) will be developed and institutionalised in the Forest Department.