Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Synergies between biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service provision: Lessons on integrated ecosystem service valuation from a Himalayan protected area, Nepal

• TESSA was used for integrated ecosystem services valuation of Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park, Nepal.
• Net monetary ecosystem service value of protecting the Park was estimated at $11 million y-1.
• Protection avoided a reduction in carbon stock of 60% and a net annual monetary loss of 19%.
• Conservation and ecosystem service provision objectives were congruent at site-level.
• A buffer zone around the park may improve benefit sharing.

We utilised a practical approach to integrated ecosystem service valuation to inform decision-making at Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park in Nepal. The Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA) was used to compare ecosystem services between two alternative states of the site (protection or lack of protection with consequent changed land use) to estimate the net consequences of protection. We estimated that lack of protection would have substantially reduced the annual ecosystem service flow, including a 74% reduction in the value of greenhouse gas sequestration, 60% reduction in carbon storage, 94% reduction in nature-based recreation, and 88% reduction in water quality. The net monetary benefit of the park was estimated at $11 million year-1. We conclude that: (1) simplified cost-benefit analysis between alternative states can be usefully employed to determine the ecosystem service consequences of land-use change, but monetary benefits should be subject to additional sensitivity analysis; (2) both biophysical indicators and monetary values can be standardised using rose plots, to illustrate the magnitude of synergies and trade-offs among the services; and (3) continued biodiversity protection measures can preserve carbon stock, although the benefit of doing so remains virtual unless an effective governance option is established to realise the monetary values.

by Kelvin S.-H. Peh 1 and 2, Ishana Thapa 3, Menuka Basnyat 3, Andrew Balmford 2, Gopal Prakash Bhattarai 4, Richard B. Bradbury 2, 5 and 6, Claire Brown 7, Stuart H.M. Butchart 2 and 8, Maheshwar Dhakal 4, Hum Gurung3 and 9, Francine M.R. Hughes 10, Mark Mulligan 11, Bhopal Pandeya 11 and 12, Alison J. Stattersfield 8, David H.L. Thomas 8, Matt Walpole 7, Jennifer C. Merriman 8
Ecosystem Services http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/22120416 via Elsevier Science Direct www.ScienceDirect.com
Volume 22, Part B; December, 2016; Pages 359–369
Special Issue: Integrated valuation of ecosystem services: challenges and solutions
1. Centre for Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, University Road, Southampton S017 1BJ, UK
2. Conservation Science Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK
3. Bird Conservation Nepal, P.O. Box 12465, Kathmandu, Nepal
4. Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, G.P.O. Box 860, Babarmahal, Nepal
5. RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Sandy, SG19 2DL, UK
6. RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, The David Attenborough Building, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3QZ, UK
7. United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge CB3 0EL, UK
8. BirdLife International, The David Attenborough Building, Pembroke Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QZ, UK
9. BirdLife International Asia, Tanglin International Centre, Tanglin Road, S274672, Singapore
10. Animal and Environment Research Group, Department of Life Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge CB1 1PT, UK
11. Department of Geography, Kings College London, London WC2R 2LS, UK
l2.  Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Keywords: Alternative state; Decision-making; Integrated valuation; Rapid assessment; Trade-off; TESSA

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