Workshop on Ecosystem Services
Uttarakhand Science Education and Research Centre (USERC) organizes workshop on Ecosystem Services and Innovative Financing Mechanism for Natural Resource Management
Dehradun: At a national level workshop on ecosystem services, elite scientists and experts emphasized the need to develop strategies for precise and appropriate evaluation of ecosystem values and services. The experts echoed the fact that mere evolution of benefits from forest resources were insufficient to support the state and highlighted the need to include water resources in ecosystem services.
A workshop on ecosystem services and environmental change was organized at Graphic Era University. The speakers expressed their views on a number of issues. They spoke about the natural resources of the Himalayan region and pointed out the fact that approximately 70% of the land in these areas is under forest cover, which in turn impedes the development work that can be done here. Consequently, in such regions, allocation of monetary fund’s in lieu of natural resources would benefit the region and this has also been accepted by the Planning Commission (now replaced with NITI Ayog). Howe ever, this fact is still restricted to the forest area and the current evaluation system is insufficient to evaluate the economics involved and tabulation of credits for natural water resources.
Former Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand, RS Tolia, who was the key note speaker at the workshop, stated that the forest reserves and the state’s natural water resources must be included in the ecosystem services. This inclusion would surely elevate the revenue for the state.
The scientist also highlighted the fact that for biodiversity conservation, traditional knowledge ought to be neglected.
After several hours of brainstorming sessions on topic, it was concluded that policies for conservation of natural resources must include guide lines for payment for environmental services must directly reach the local people involved in conservation of natural resources. The required effective screening and recognition of persons who could benefit from natural resources and who, in turn, helped to conserve and strengthen them.
Thirteen recommendations were structured after intensive discussions in three sessions of the workshop which included conservation of Oak trees in the region. The first technical session was chaired by Jai Raj, IFS, State Nodal Officer for Climate Change. In this session, Dr. Ruchi Badola, Prof. Uma Melkania and Dr. Mohit Gera expressed their views. In the second technical session, Dr. Rakesh Shah, IFS and Chairman, State Biodiversity Board, chaired the session, while Dr. Rajiv Pandey, Dr. VRS Rawat and Dr. Kundan Bisht were the speakers.
The workshop was organized jointly by USERC, GBPIHED and Department of Biotechnology, Graphic Era University. Convener of the workshop and Dean Biotechnology, Prof. LMS Palni disclosed that scientists from major research institutions and universities of the country participated in the workshop. The programme was attended by Dr. O.P.Nautiyal, Dr. Bhavtosh Sharma, Dr. Laxmi Rawat, Dr. Subhash Nautiyal, Dr. Ambrish Kumar, Dr. JMS Tomar, Dr. Kirti Joshi, Dr. Mahender Gusain, Prof. Ashish Thapliyal, Dr. Manu Pant and Dr. Manju Sundriyal coordinated logistics for the workshop.