The Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) is a global asset with rich cultural and biological diversity. The region is characterized by diverse ecosystems, and a wealth of natural resources. But limited accessibility and remoteness of location have led its human inhabitants into poverty. Managing ecosystems in the region is challenging not only due to its remoteness, but also due to the high dependency of local livelihoods on natural resources. Managing upstream ecosystems for a sustainable supply of ecosystem services that people living both upstream and downstream presently enjoy requires a proper consideration of the resilience of these ecosystems. Innovative approaches to incentivizing upstream communities are necessary as subsistence livelihood options for them are limited to land use practices, agriculture, and forests.
The ICIMOD-supported symposium, Incentivizing Mountain Communities for Ecosystem Services in the Context of a Changing Climate, was designed to generate a discussion on incentivizing mountain communities – particularly in the HKH, and request researchers and policy makers to debate and agree on a possible modality on an incentive based mechanism for a sustainable supply of ecosystem services in the context of a changing climate.