Exploring options for a PES-like scheme to conserve Red Panda habitat and livelihood improvement in western Nepal

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Mountain ecosystems in western Nepal provide critical habitats for the endangered Red Panda. These habitats also need to satisfy the daily livelihood requirements of local communities. High levels of resource dependence and unsustainable resource use are creating pressure on the provision of ecosystem services in the region. Understanding the views of local villagers about their willingness to constrain the use of forest resources is the first step towards helping them realise sustainable environmental management. We conducted a survey among villagers to determine their willingness to participate in a potential PES-like scheme to help the conservation of the red panda habitat through reduced use of forest resources. Choice experiment results indicate that a high proportion of respondents (87%) were willing to accept payments in return for reducing the use of the high pastures for animal grazing while a reduction in the harvest of medicinal plants would require more compensation. People living inside a protected area were willing to accept a lower compensation than those outside. Respondents indicated that they would prefer communal over personal compensation payments. The findings could support design and implementation of a PES-like scheme that concurrently manages the nexus between effective conservation, sustainable resource utilisation and livelihoods improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101388
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalEcosystem Services
Early online dateDec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

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