Highlighting the importance of valuing forest ecosystems and services for sustainable development

The “International Research Symposium on Valuation of Forest Ecosystems and their Services”, was held on 18 October 2016 at the BMICH in Colombo, as a part of the Sri Lanka NEXT: ‘A Blue - Green Era’ Conference and Exhibition held 17-19 October 2016.  The symposium was organised by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, with the support of the Sri Lanka UN-REDD Programme and the Forest Department. 

The symposium aimed to create greater awareness on the valuation of forest ecosystems and the services that forest ecosystems provide for better-informed decision making at policy level for long-term human well-being and sustainable development. The symposium consisted of three sessions: Session 1 - Recognizing Ecosystem Services Values, Session 2 - Demonstrating Ecosystem Service Values and Session 3 - Capturing Ecosystem Service Values.

Dr Ananda Mallawatantri contributing as a panellist during the policy dialogue

Three invited international experts addressed the audience on the three focus areas and joined the policy dialogue at the end of the event. Twelve national and international researchers covered a range of subjects related to ecosystems and their value.

Scientists from around the globe including USA, UK, Philippines, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Kenya, and Nigeria attended and shared their research findings with their counterparts. As an outcome of the event, a set of recommendations is expected to be presented to the Government of Sri Lanka with specific actions that can be taken in line with the findings of the research symposium.

IUCN Sri Lanka provides the Communication Support to the Sri Lanka UN-REDD Programme including the technical assistance on Ecosystem Valuation. IUCN summarised the Ecosystem Services by Forest Sector as part of the support to UN-REDD. IUCN Staff contributed with technical and logistical support in staging the symposium. Dr Ananda Mallawatantri, Country Representative of IUCN Sri Lanka Chaired Session 3 and contributed as a panellist during the policy dialogue to collect inputs to the REDD+ strategy development process.  

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