The value of ecosystem services in the high altitude Spiti Valley, Indian Trans-Himalaya

Murali, Ranjini and Redpath, Stephen and Mishra, Charudutt (2017) The value of ecosystem services in the high altitude Spiti Valley, Indian Trans-Himalaya. Ecosystem Services. pp. 115-123.

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The high mountain ranges of South and Central Asia are increasingly being exposed to large-scale development projects. These areas are home to traditional pastoralist communities and internationally important biodiversity including the endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia. Development projects rely on economic cost-benefit analysis, but the ecosystem services in the high Himalayas are poorly understood and are rarely accounted for. As a first step to nu this gap, we identified the main ecosystem services used by local people in the Trans-Himalayan Spiti Valley (7591 krrr'), a region important for conservation of snow leopards and high mountain biodiversity, and undertook an economic valuation. Stakeholders identified a range of services, though these were dominated by provisioning services identified by 90%of respondents. Only 5.4%of the respondents recognised regulatory services and 4.8%recognised cultural services. The mean economic value of provisioning services was estimated at US$ 3622 ± 149 HH-' yr-\ which was 3.8 times higher than the average annual household income. Our results underscore the need to account for ecosystem services in the cost-benefit analyses of large-scale development projects in addition to assessments of their environmental and social impact

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ecosystem services Pastoralists Local communities Provisioning services Economic valuation Panthera uncia
Subjects: Research > Research Center - Technical
Depositing User: MIT Library
Date Deposited: 16 May 2019 05:18
Last Modified: 16 May 2019 05:18

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