Ecosystem Services

This programme endeavours to identify, quantify and map key ecosystem attributes and functions that underpin ecosystem services which in turn sustain the well-being of millions of people across diverse biomes such as rain forests, flood-plains, rivers and estuaries and Himalayan forests. The programme is also designed to monitor species interactions, particularly of mobile pollinators and seed dispersers, and interactions between invasive and native biota.

Wetlands in Delhi and Haryana, home to hundreds of species of birds, face serious threats from pollution and encroachment; official recognition could be an important step towards conservation. Read Article

Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services: Understanding, Restoring & Conserving Biodiversity to Ensure our Future
Biodiversity Collaborative / Biodiversity Collaborative
Missing the Forest for the Trees - Pandemics, biodiversity and the circle of life.
Bangalore Sustainability Forum / Bangalore International Centre
Bangalore’s eminent biologists and environmental scholars, Satyajit Mayor, Mahesh Sankaran, Uma Ramakrishnan and Harini Nagendra join the dots on coronavirus, biodiversity and forests loss.
The planet is losing biodiversity at an unprecedented rate, posing grave danger to human health and prosperity, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity warned in its flagship report. There were many sceptics when zero-budget natural…
India and other nations need new frameworks that integrate science with policies to enhance human well-being, restore and conserve nature, and build capacity.
India and other nations need new frameworks that integrate science with policies to enhance human well-being, restore and conserve nature, and build capacity. Read Article
Bats are the only mammal capable of sustained flight. They are a very species rich group, with over 1200 species worldwide2, and more species being discovered every year. After rodents, they are the second most diverse mammalian group in the world, and make up ~20% of all mammal species. In other words, one out of every 5 mammal species in the world is a bat!  Read More
We’re extremely proud of Professor Uma Ramakrishnan for being honoured with the 2021 Conservation Beacon Award by the Society for Conservation…
21 Dec 2021
Despite the rich biodiversity they support and the critical ecosystem services they offer, savanna grasslands of India continue to remain neglected…
Mahesh Sankaran
02 Dec 2021
Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan participated in a discussion convened by the World Bank on 'One Health and related issues in the times of COVID'.
Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan
19 Feb 2021

About Ecosystem Services

Natural and managed ecosystems in India provide a diverse range of ecosystem services across local, regional and national scales. Different landscapes across the Indian sub-continent support different levels and kinds of biodiversity, and vary in the extent to which they provide multiple ecosystem services to dependent human communities. Biodiversity underpins all of these ecosystem services. India’s ecological security is contingent on the continued ability of ecosystems to provide irreplaceable ecosystem services for the well-being, livelihoods and sustainable economic development of its citizens. Furthermore, anthropogenic impacts in India— both on biodiversity and on landscapes— have been significantly negative. However, multi-disciplinary and spatially explicit data on the kinds and extent of ecosystem services provided by these different landscapes is currently lacking or not easily accessible to policy and decision makers. This information is critical for land-use planning, for managing and conserving India’s biodiversity and natural assets, and for restoring degraded lands.

This programme aims to investigate the impacts of rapidly changing biodiversity on food webs/cascades, as well as investigate how land-use change is impacting biodiversity and ecosystem services and their persistence.

This will be done with strong community participation and the extensive involvement of investigators from various parts of the country who will apply for competitive programmatic and small grants. Landscapes covered will include river systems and wetlands that are part of them. Specifically, this programme will quantify and map key ecosystem services in various landscapes and ecosystems across the country. This will allow researchers to determine linkages between biodiversity and ecosystem service provisioning in these landscapes. Armed with this information, future efforts can take into account trade-offs between different ecosystem services and the conditions that maximize ecosystem multi-functionality (i.e. provisioning of multiple ecosystem services) in different landscapes. In addition, development planners and policymakers will have the requisite tools to effectively manage biodiversity, design strategies to halt and reduce land degradation, identify strategies to better manage invasive species, develop protocols and guidelines for ecosystem restoration in different landscapes, and design action plans for landscape level, climate resilient and people-centric conservation action plans. In the process, India can emerge as a world leader in ecosystem based management and nature based solutions in economic development.