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Forests 2018, 9(9), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090554

Identification, Prioritization and Mapping of Ecosystem Services in the Panchase Mountain Ecological Region of Western Nepal

1
Ministry of Forests and Environment, Kathmandu, Nepal
2
Centre for International Forestry Research, Jalan CIFOR, Situ Gede, Sindang Barang, Bogor 16115, Indonesia
3
School of Ecosystem and Forest Science, University of Melbourne, Richmond, VIC 3121, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 August 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 4 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Abstract

Ecosystem services (ES) are critical to human well-being, especially in developing countries. Improved understanding of the status of ES is required to help people improve their quality of life. The status of ES is largely unknown in many regions of Nepal. This study was carried out in one of Nepal’s biodiversity hotspots, the Panchase Mountain Ecological region (PMER), to identify, prioritize and map the major ES in the region. Primary data for the study were collected through key informant interviews, focus group discussions, a transect walk, and field observations. Similarly, secondary data were obtained from published and unpublished reports and satellite images of the study area. The data were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Thirty-seven ES were identified from the study landscape. Among them, nine were provisioning services, thirteen regulating services, nine cultural services, and six supporting services. Interestingly, the prioritization of ES among stakeholders differed on the basis of their background, particular features of their landscape, professional engagement, and individual interests. For instance, forest users prioritized provisioning services for their daily needs whereas forest managers prioritized regulating and cultural services for overall ecosystem management and aesthetic values. Mapping of the ES from the landscape for 1995 and 2015 identified that forest area and associated ES have likely increased, especially in the upland regions, while agricultural land and their associated ES have decreased. The study can be used as a reference by planners and policy makers in managing ES in the PMER to increase synergies and reduce trade-off among various services. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem services; livelihoods; mapping; prioritization; Nepal ecosystem services; livelihoods; mapping; prioritization; Nepal
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Adhikari, S.; Baral, H.; Nitschke, C.R. Identification, Prioritization and Mapping of Ecosystem Services in the Panchase Mountain Ecological Region of Western Nepal. Forests 2018, 9, 554.

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