Regional Sustainability ›› 2022, Vol. 3 ›› Issue (2): 157-169.doi: 10.1016/j.regsus.2022.07.004

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Evaluation of ecosystem supply services and calculation of economic value in Kargil District

Sabir HUSSAIN, Sheenu SHARMA, Anand Narain SINGH()   

  1. Soil Ecosystem and Restoration Ecology Lab, Department of Botany, Panjab University, Chandigarh, 160014, India.
  • Received:2022-03-16 Revised:2022-06-20 Accepted:2022-07-10 Online:2022-06-30 Published:2022-09-19
  • Contact: Anand Narain SINGH


Mountain ecosystem provides numerous vital ecosystem services (ESs) to the people residing within or near the mountains worldwide. The mountains provide services such as timber, fibre, fodder, fuelwood, medicine, aesthetic, recreation, ritual, and religion, and many other services that are vital for the maintenance of the ecosystem. The mountains of Barsoo and Tai-Suru regions in Kargil District (Ladakh, India) are much familiar for their ESs supply, and the residents have utilized these services for years. The present study was focused on the provisioning ESs. We used a random sample approach for household selection and data collection regarding the pre-prepared questionnaire; the number of households was obtained from government census data. The primary ESs (identified by more than 40% of the respondents) were assessed through the direct market valuation method. The direct market valuation method produced an overwhelming value, specifically for grazing and fodder services in both regions of the study area. Results showed that grazing service was valued at 482,346.43 USD/a for Barsoo region and 1,458,099.04 USD/a for Tai-Suru region. Similarly, fodder service of Barsoo and Tai-Suru regions corresponded to values of 69,833.61 and 110,886.06 USD/a, respectively. On the other hand, food service of Barsoo and Tai-Suru regions was valued at 2601.04 and 2969.90 USD/a, respectively, and medicinal service was valued at 757.39 and 4430.94 USD/a in Barsoo and Tai-Suru regions, respectively. In addition, the regions were economically backwards, and the resident’s survival and well-being relied on the mountain ESs. Therefore, it is not possible for the residents to pay services replacement costs if the services need to replace by other means. Unfortunately, such mountain ecosystem is highly prone to climate change and other human activities that would negatively impact the ecosystem functions. Therefore, this study would be helpful for the policy-makers of the region to draft any developmental plan/framework by integrating the value of ESs that would be the key to achieving sustainable development.

Key words: Mountain ecosystem, Ecosystem services, Sustainability, LivelihoodDirect market valuation, method, Barsoo, Tai-Suru