Framework for assessing ecosystem services from bamboo forests: Lessons from Asia and Africa

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Bamboo is well known for supporting people’s livelihoods, and is widely used in landscape restoration programs while providing a wide range of ecosystem goods and services. However, while marketable goods from bamboo such as shoots for food and timber for construction, flooring and furniture are well known, the ecosystem services (ES) supply from bamboo is not, due to limited research. To date, very few studies highlight the role of bamboo forests in providing multiple ES that have local and global value. Lack of an appropriate framework and tools is considered a barrier to assessing the ES from bamboo forests. Therefore, this study attempts to develop an easy-to-apply framework to assess ES from bamboo and test them in three countries in Asia and Africa – Nepal, Indonesia and Ethiopia – in order to understand the relative supply capacity of the key ES from bamboo forests. The literature related to ES and assessment frameworks was reviewed so as to design an appropriate assessment framework for bamboo forests. This study offers an easy-to-apply framework that can be used widely. The research shows that the ES supply capacity of bamboo forests is higher than for industrial planted forest while it is lower than for the natural forests in all case study sites. The ES assessment from bamboo forests poses several challenges: defining and classifying ES, limited data, and complex relationships in trade-offs and synergies of ES that should be kept in mind while designing the framework.

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