Integrating ecosystem services into development planning - IES. Introduction to manual and training module.

Development planners are often confronted with a set of multifaceted challenges in development planning processes. Projects and policies intended to meet development goals often go forward unwittingly at the expense of nature, e.g. a national plan to expand agriculture to increase food production may increase deforestation leading to soil erosion and flooding. Frequently, the development goals are undermined as the effects of these trade-offs are felt by people who depend on nature for their livelihood and well-being.
Recognizing the links between ecosystem services and development goals can mean the difference between a successful strategy and one that fails because of an unexamined consequence for an ecosystem service. A better ability to assess, describe and value benefits of ecosystem services, might help decision makers to better understand how their actions depend on and might change these services, consider the trade-offs among options, and choose policies that sustain such services.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) developed a guide for development planners and policymakers on integrating ecosystem services into development planning. It advocates a step-wise approach through which it is possible to recognize, demonstrate and capture the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services for development planning. The development of the guide was based on the findings of the TEEB study and existing manuals (particularly WRI 2008, WBSCD/WRI 2008 and WBSCD 2011) and the practical experience of the GIZ.
The training course is based on the Harvard Case Methodology, which conveys teaching messages mainly through interactive practical work by participants. The training deals with the fictitious Country of Bakul, a situation closely based on real life conditions and challenges. During the session, participants will get an overview of the step-wise approach and gain an insight into the training module through practical exercises.

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