Developing Methodologies for the Valuation of Ecosystem Services

09–13 September 2023 | Bumthang, Bhutan

Organised by: Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Forest Research and Training (UWIFoRT), Department of Forests and Park Services (DOFPS), Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Bumthang, Bhutan, Bhutan for Life (BFL) and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

About the workshop

The UWIFoRT, DoFPS, and ICIMOD are jointly organising the workshop with technical support of the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) to build the capacity of government officials and researchers on the valuation of ecosystem services. In particular, the workshop will help identify and develop appropriate methodologies for the valuation of ecosystem services of the Chamkharchhu River Basin.

The Bhutan for Life Program’s milestone 13 under result area Healthy Ecosystem states, “By year 7, National Five Year Plans and all Protected Area management plans incorporate natural capital valuation, key ecosystem services provided by PAs/BCs, and salient climate change risks and mitigation/adaptation strategies”. This activity will enable the policymakers, planners and managers to make a informed decision regarding the land use, resource management and conservation efforts through valuation of these ecosystem services.


  • Capacity building on ecosystem services valuation
  • Develop standardised methodologies for the valuation of ecosystem services of the Chamkharchhu River Basin

Expected outputs

  • Built the capacity of government officials to carry out a valuation of ecosystems services starting from the Chamkharchhu River Basin
  • At least 20 people will be trained in designing ecosystem services valuation methodologies used for the valuation of ecosystem services of the Chamkharchhu River Basin
  • Methods developed of different ecosystem services valuation in the Bhutan’s context by framing specific questions and parametric measurements and variables of ecosystem services for valuation.

The participants were introduced to:

  • Understanding conceptual aspects of the ecosystem services valuation, and exposure to the key methods used
  • Field visit to get first-hand information from the study site
  • Identify the key ecosystem services from the river basin for valuation and develop appropriate methodologies


Ecosystems are multi-functional and provide a wide range of services that are essential for the sustainable development of human societies. Valuation of the ecosystem’s services or nature’s contribution to people has emerged as a very useful tool for policymakers and managers of ecosystems to determine management priorities, balance the interests of stakeholders and design incentive mechanisms for ecosystem management.

To guide national conservation planning and investment, the Department of Forests and Park Services, through the multiple-year programme Bhutan for Life, intends to estimate the value of the ecosystem services of all its protected areas and biological corridors using appropriate and established methodologies. Ecosystem services valuation for the Chamkharchhu Basin has been prioritised in the current fiscal year. The purpose of the valuation is to estimate the economic values of the ecosystem services that the Chamkharchhu River Basin generates, which then helps the government for making informed decisions on the alternative uses of the river system.

The Valuation of the Ecosystem Services in the protected areas and biological corridors will enable adopting inclusive policies and innovative practices to conserve, restore, manage, and sustainably use wetlands and reverse their degradation. It will also ensure building the institutional capabilities to value ecosystem services or nature’s contribution to people.