The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has recently commissioned Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to work with Himachal Pradesh Forest Department on Integration of the ecosystem services approach into forest management in Himachal Pradesh. Project activities will start from October 2015.
Under the TEEB India Initiative, studies were undertaken on mainstreaming ecosystem services and its values in development planning and decision making processes, by addressing some key conservation challenges and devising solutions. The Forest Ecosystem Services (FESS) Project in Himachal Pradesh will integrate recommendations from these studies into the development of policies for conservation and sustainable use of the forest ecosystems.
The Indo-German technical cooperation is expected to support the Himachal Forest Department in valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services through measures like Long Term Ecological Monitoring (LTEM), drafting of FESS guidelines and management plans for forest districts, and monitoring instruments.
The project will also involve local communities in developing, designing and implementing local forest usage plans. By this, FESS will be put to practical use, and the traditional knowledge of the population will be combined with the technical expertise of the Forest Department.
The project aims at widespread improvements in rural living conditions by harmonizing the needs of the rural population with the requirements of biodiversity conservation and sustainable forestry.
The concept of ecosystem services approach in forestry, once successfully implemented in Himachal Pradesh, is intended to serve as an example for other states in the western Himalayas.
To read more on the Project, please visit the brochure for HP-FES project.
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