The IMFN Ecological Goods and Services Strategic Initiative focuses on ensuring the provision of goods and services essential to meet basic human needs by integrating management and conservation of natural resources into the market economy. Model Forests serve as opportunities to demonstrate approaches to developing and promoting the value of ecological goods and services.
The topic has garnered strong interest across the IMFN and a discussion paper has been written entitled Maintaining Ecological Goods & Services: Overview of the Issues and Options (Kennedy et al. 2009, Pembina Institute). In addition to regional pilot projects underway, there are many examples of activities at the site level.
For more information on EG&S and Model Forests, please see PDF link below.
The 800-kilometre Cauvery River in Karnataka, India, is the area’s predominant river. It provides the water needs for the cities of Bangalore and Mysore and for a large rural population. Over the past 10 years, average annual inflow into the watershed has dropped significantly, a situation made worse by shifting rainfall patterns and loss of forest cover in the catchment area.
Shade-grown coffee accounts for a large portion of the economic base of the region and coffee planters are seeking increased timber harvesting rights to supplement declining income. With funding from the IMFN Strategic Initiatives, the Kodagu Model Forest is supporting a comprehensive assessment of the full value of the ecological goods and services afforded by the watershed. Through this assessment, stakeholders are planning to approach local governments about adopting a system of Payment for Environmental Services for coffee growers in the area. The payments would encourage growers to play an active role in ensuring that the ecological goods and services of the river basin are managed for the long term.