An Operations Manual supporting development practitioners, natural resource managers and conservation professionals to manage the environment to provide multiple ecosystem services has been made available online.
The Manual, produced and tested by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and UNEP-WCMC, provides practical approaches to include environmental management for a full range of ecosystem services in plans and actions for sustainable development. It presents six steps and supporting information for working at individual sites and wider landscapes.
Management of the environment for ecosystem services is central to national development plans and global policies such as the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Sustainable Development Goals. The benefits of environmental management for people are increasingly recognised, but there is still a need to fully integrate ecosystem services into on-the-ground management plans.
This Manual helps to reduce the gap in understanding, planning and managing the environment for ecosystem goods and services. The Manual also helps site managers to analyse and address natural resource management problems, such as reduced water supplies, declining populations of species, or the spread of invasive species, and to identify options to increase environmental resilience to climate change.
Following a training session on the Manual, a participant from Himachal Pradesh Forest Department concluded:
“I now see the forest as an ecosystem, not just as timber, and can use this in planning management with local communities.”
The Manual has primarily been designed to support the ecosystem management work of ICIMOD and its partners in the eight countries of Hindu Kush Himalaya, but it is of wider relevance across terrestrial environments of the world.
If you would like more information about the Manual and UNEP-WCMC’s work on this subject please contact Philip Bubb at firstname.lastname@example.org