Natural ecosystems generate a spectrum of services that benefit human society and its wellbeing. Forests, for example, in addition to providing goods for consumption such as timber, fuelwood, foods, and medicinal plants, also produce oxygen and capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, regulate water flows both on the earth’s surface and underground, maintain the quality of water, prevent floods and landslides, and host and safeguard biodiversity, wildlife habitat, cultural heritage, and landscape beauty. Other land use systems in mountain regions such as rangelands, wetlands, protected areas, water bodies, private gardens, and agricultural farms similarly provide a range of ecosystem services.
ICIMOD, ForestAction and NETIF. 2011. Protected areas and payment for ecosystem services: A feasibility study in Shivapuri- Nagarjun National Park, Nepal. International Center for Integrated Mountain Development, ForestAction, Nepal, and Nepal Environment and Tourism Initiative Foundation.