Since the early 1990s, countries in the South Asian region have been on high economic growth trajectories, but the expected improvements in human development levels have largely been non-commensurate in a number of well-being dimensions. Further, the environmental costs of such high and non-inclusive growth patterns continue to be largely unaccounted for in conventional development planning and resource allocation. The degradation of ecosystems is likely to be a significant barrier to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to reduction of poverty, hunger and disease in the region.
The present report is structured around the multiple and varied links that characterize the relationship between human well-being and ecosystem services. Understanding of these links is still constrained both by difficulties in conceptualising the underlying notions and large gaps in the scientific evidence base. This Situation Analysis feels that the assessment of ecosystem services at the landscape level is important because changes at this level may impact on goods and services in relation to existing structural habitat diversity and its vulnerability and resilience to changes resulting from both direct and indirect drivers.
This report is presented in 11 chapters as follows:
- Introduction to the ESPASSA project
- Characteristics of the study region
- Poverty and ecosystem services
- Poverty in South Asia
- Major ecosystems and their services in South Asia
- Drivers of ecosystem change in South Asia
- Impact of ecosystem changes on the poor in South Asia
- Policy responses to ecosystem degradation in the South Asian region
- Ingredients for a successful policy response to ecosystem management
- Addressing stakeholder needs for poverty alleviation
- Lessons learnt and future research priorities.
Annexes to the report containing Discussion Papers, Country Reports and Workshop reports are presented as separate output records.
New Delhi:The Energy & Resources Institute. 84 pp.