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

Kelvin S H Peh, Ishana Thapa, Menuka Basnyat, Andrew Balmford, Gopal Prakash Bhattarai, Richard B. Bradbury, Claire Brown, Stuart H.M. Butchart, Maheshwar Dhakal, Hum Gurung, Francine M.R. Hughes , Mark Mulligan, Bhopal Pandeya, Alison J. Stattersfield, David H.L. Thomas, Matt Walpole, Jennifer C. Merriman

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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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEcosystem Services
Early online date9 Aug 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Aug 2016

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