Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services for Sustainable Livelihoods

Programme Goal: To secure the livelihoods of our impact group through integrated management of agriculture, biodiversity, and ecosystem services.

Biodiversity and other ecosystem services are the basis for sustainable production and livelihoods. These services, however, function and depend on landscape level interactions. Therefore, safeguarding these services requires action at the community, and increasingly, at the landscape level. Furthermore, being public goods, individual actions are not sufficient to safeguard these services. The Biodiversity and Ecosystems programme seeks to empower stakeholders to manage their communal and landscape level resources for a shared development that they envision for themselves.

Pathways for Change

Mainstream community-based biodiversity management (CBM). The CBM approach was developed by LI-BIRD in partnership with Bioversity International and the Nepal Agricultural Research Council. It focuses on empowering farmers by enabling them to leverage the natural, human and social capital they have to build their financial and physical capital. It is a conservation for development approach, in which development does not undermine conservation.

The key interventions in this pathway will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Establish national, regional and global platforms for scaling up CBM methodologies and tools.
  • Refine and assess CBM’s role in on farm conservation of genetic resources.
  • Collaborate with academic institutions, local government and civil society organizations for wider application of CBM.

Promote ecoagriculture landscapes. It is increasingly important to work at a landscape level to provide food, livelihoods as well as habitat for wild biodiversity and ecosystem services. Ecoagriculture landscapes are multi-functional landscapes that are productive and maintain, or preferably, support biodiversity and ecosystem services.

The key interventions in this pathway will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Enhance organizational capacity for integrated landscape management.
  • Pilot and demonstrate the benefits of using a landscape approach.
  • Develop and pilot the concept of agrobiodiversity heritage areas.
  • Pilot marketing of local products under unified landscape brands.
  • Promote landscape level integrated soil and water management practices.

Develop benefit sharing mechanism for ecosystem services. As public goods, ecosystem services are at risk of being exploited beyond their regenerative capacities. As ecosystem services become less readily available, better off families might procure these services from alternative sources. However, poorer families are at the risk of being deprived of benefits generated from a variety of ecosystem services. Providing ecosystem services that were recently freely available from alternative sources also creates a burden on the government. Hence, it is important to generate economic or social incentives to continue delivery of these public goods.

The key interventions in this pathway will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Review and define the scope of ecosystem services to contribute to the lives of our impact group.
  • Develop, demonstrate, validate and promote gender sensitive and socially inclusive benefit sharing mechanisms.
  • Enhance the capacity of local communities for managing and facilitating benefit sharing mechanisms for ecosystem services.