Forest Ecosystem Services

Commissioned by Lead Executing Agency
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Himachal Pradesh Forest Department
Lead Implementing Agency Duration
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH October 2015 - April 2020


Forests, home to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, are essential for life on Earth as we find it today. The Indian forests play a vital role in harbouring more than 45,000 floral and 81,000 faunal species, many of which are endemic. Mountain forests are crucial not only for the people residing in the mountains, but also for the large population of the adjacent palms. They provide a number of ecosystem services like the water and climate regulation, soil conservation, provision of resources critical for local livelihoods, and abundant recreational values. 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 conversation into developmental planning.

Himachal Pradesh is one of the mountain states of India which is both rich in biodiversity and ecosystem services. However, until now the forest management in Himachal Pradesh is very much focused to manage forests for timber. Even though Himachal Pradesh is the first Indian state that has a policy on Payment for Ecosystem Services in place, the approach has not yet been integrated in the forest management plans. Therefore institutions and governance structures have to be in place to implement the ecosystem services approach on the ground.


The project aims to enable the Forest Department of Himachal Pradesh to introduce the Forest Ecosystem Services approach in the state’s forest management. 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 institutionalized in the Forest Department.


The project builds the capacity of the forest department and local communities to implement the FES approach to develop a forest management system that focuses on the optimization of FES.


The project has undertaken the respective tasks:

  • Training of senior forest officials in India and Germany.
  • An International Workshop, as well as a National workshop on the process of Long Term Ecological Monitoring (LTEM) was conducted. Read more here.
  • A survey for the 14 demonstration sites which is still in progress. A few of the baseline surveys have also been conducted, this process will be terminating by February 2018.


The HP-FES project directly contributes to the SDG 15 Life on Land. It promotes the sustainable management of forests (target 15.2), ensures the conservation of mountain ecosystems (target 15.4) and integrates ecosystem and biodiversity values into state and local planning, (target 15.9).


All publications and movies of this project can be accessed via the resource section on this website, by selecting the topic “Forest Ecosystem Services”.

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