Understanding social-ecological interdependence using ecosystem services perspective in Bhutan, Eastern Himalayas:

Pratikshya Kandel, Dago Tshering, Kabir Uddin, Tshering Lhamtshok, Kamal Aryal, Seema Karki, Bikash Sharma, Nakul Chettri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Biophysical and economic values are often used to aid understanding of the complex interplay between ecosystems, their services, and human well-being, but community values are rarely considered. In a case study of Barshong gewog in Bhutan, we used mapping methods that involved (1) local knowledge and perceptions collected using participatory rural appraisal tools, (2) a household survey, and (3) geospatial inputs, to understand the linkages between human well-being and ecosystem services at the local level, as perceived by the community. The study identified three major ecosystems - forest, agriculture, and freshwater - that contribute highly to local livelihoods. Collectively, these ecosystems provide a wide range of goods and services, including 22 provisioning, 13 regulating, 4 supporting, and 6 cultural services. About 85% of the households depend directly upon provisioning ecosystem services for their livelihoods and income. The study also identified the importance of the ecosystems in terms of three value domains - ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere02121
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


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