Mountain Ecosystem Services

Mountains provide critical and indispensable goods and services to a significant proportion of humankind. For instance, up to 80 percent of the planet's fresh surface water comes from mountains (FAO). In the southern Asia, about 1.3 billion people rely on freshwater obtained directly or indirectly from the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) mountain systems. Mountain ecosystems also offer other important services such as ecotourism which constitutes a considerable contribution to national economies especially in the developing world. Despite this disproportionate contribution of mountains and their services to development, mountains are among the most disadvantaged regions at global scale. There are many development challenges in mountain regions but the most pressing ones include lack of infrastructure and low representation of mountain communities in the political arenas. As a result, mountains are among the poorest regions of the world despite their great potential to drive development. Given the potential of mountains to support development through their various ecosystem services, it is a matter of global urgency to develop adequate policy and institutional frameworks to harness these services to drive sustainable development both in mountain areas and surrounding lowlands that depend on these mountains. This session will provide insights on key considerations to make while devising schemes that enhance sustainable exploitation of mountain services including development of adapted PES schemes that link mountain communities as keepers of these services to lowlands dwellers who benefit from them. It will thus discuss sustainable options in relation to green economy in mountains in the context of new sustainable development goals.

More themes

Event Partners

In collaboration with