Ecosystem services and human well-being

Approaching snow leopard conservation through the lens of ecosystem service use can contribute significantly towards the protection of snow leopard habitats, or towards finding options that can better balance the need for economic development with ecological sustainability.  

  • Barley fields

  • Bringing the yaks back

  • Chicham

Ecosystem services and human well-being

The snow leopard, an endangered species, is a flagship for conservation in Asia’s highlands. Today, snow leopard landscapes across Asia face unprecedented developmental pressures, be it mining for minerals, building of roads and development of hydro-electricity, and the intensification of livestock grazing in response to global demands. As choices are made between various development projects and land uses, it is critical that more information is available to local communities, politicians, and bureaucrats about the value of the ecosystems being altered. Currently, there is little formal understanding or quantification of the value of ecosystem services derived from these mountains. 

Ecosystem services is defined as the benefits people derive from nature. Given the current socio-economic trends in these regions, approaching snow leopard conservation through the lens of ecosystem service use can contribute significantly towards the protection of snow leopard habitats, or towards finding options that can better balance the need for economic development with ecological sustainability.  

For my project I propose to:

1) Identify and economically value the ecosystem services from snow leopard habitats.

2) Understand the distribution of ecosystem service benefits within the community, across a rural-urban gradient.

3) Identify the factors that drive socio-cultural valuation of ecosystem services.

4) Identify areas of overlap between biodiversity and ecosystem services.

People

Funding

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