Incentives for a Sustained Flow of Forest Ecosystem Services

15 June 2021

By: Satyan Chauhan, Technical Expert, GIZ | Aashima Negi, Junior Communication Expert, GIZ

Strengthening alternative tools for managing Forest Ecosystem Services’

Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) is  applied as an  incentive-based mechanism  (IBM) to translate values of ecosystems into incentives for local actors for aiding in its improved flow and management. These can involve cash or in-kind payment for service provider. The process is similar as buying any other product or service.  The buyer is identified, the market conditions understood, and the service provider legally and institutionally recognized.

Widely integrating a variety of IBMs will act a means of motivating protection and restoration of other services. In India, the state of Himachal Pradesh leads the development of a policy for PES. This was formulated in 2013, a first for the country, and a step towards recognising and acknowledging the role of communities as custodians of forest ecosystem services and incentivising conservation and sustainable use of forest resources in the state. The Himachal Pradesh Forest Ecosystem Services (HP-FES) Project partnered with the Himachal Pradesh (HP) Forest Department (2016-2020) in a bid to contribute towards implementing the policy and its operationalisation. The project undertook development and refinement of PES models at two project sites in the state: Alha (District Chamba) and Bohal (District Kangra). While a new PES model for improving water availability, was proposed for Alha (Figure 1), aimed to benefit 5000 people directly, for Bohal an improvisation to the existing setup for the management of a water catchment was made. It suggested that the amount given to Bohal Village Forest Development Society (VFDS) be increased almost threefold and provided by the Municipal Corporation. The catchment of this spring shed was also treated to strengthen the sustainability of this initiative.

Link to further information

Contact Person
Ravindra Singh – Programme Director
Indo-German Biodiversity Programme

Key buzzwords
Biodiversity, forest, water, ecosystem services, Himalayas, India