The high altitude pastureland and forest ecosystems provide a wide array of ecosystem services (provisional, regulating, cultural, supporting). These ecosystem services are critical for sustainable urban development in cities downstream. The high altitude pasturelands are a source of freshwater, maintain hydrological functions, reduce erosion and sedimentation downstream, provide food security, mineral resources, medicinal and aromatic plants and their products, cultural traditions and spiritual values, and revenue as they are the inspiration that draws increasing number of people from around the globe to experience these places.
Degradation of high altitude pasturelands and forests due to climate change and anthropogenic pressures impacts critical ecosystem service flow to cities downstream. Ecologically restoring these pasturelands will enhance sustainable development in downstream cities. This session highlights the role of critical ecosystem services from high altitude rural areas for sustainable urban development, thereby showcasing the need to restore degraded pasturelands to maintain the flow of the ecosystem services.
- Mr Emani Kumar, Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI and Executive Director, ICLEI South Asia, Delhi, India
- Dr. Ruchi Pant, Head- Natural Resource Management and Biodiversity, UNDP India, Delhi, India
- Dr. K. M. Jayahari, Country Coordinator, Food and Land Use, Delhi, India
- Dr. Gautam Talkudar, Scientist G and Coordinator Protected Area Network, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, India
- Mr. Nand Kishor Agrawal, Programme Coordinator (Adpatation and Resilience), ICIMOD, Kathmandu, Nepal
- Dr. Monalisa Sen, Programme Coordinator (Biodiversity), ICLEI South Asia, Delhi, India
Dr Ritesh Kumar is Director, Wetlands International South Asia, New Delhi, India