|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 plains. 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 in order to reach improved living conditions for the communities in the project areas in Himachal Pradesh that are reached by the new FES methods. In a second step, other Western Himalayan states shall test and use Himachal Pradesh’s implementation experiences on FES.
To introduce the FES approach in the state’s forest management, the project first sensitises the Forest Department and local communities in the pilot areas on the FES approach. For the integration of the FES approach into the forest management of Himachal Pradesh the project is working in three core areas:
The project has undertaken the respective tasks:
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).
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