Promoting Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystem Services

Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystem Services (FES)

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Country
  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2021 to 2024

  • Other Stakeholders

    Nodal ministry: Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change; State partners: State Forest Departments of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh

  • Products and expertise

    Environment and Climate Change

A woman working in a mustard field.


Forest and agroforest ecosystems in India play a vital role in sustaining the lives of millions of people. Their benefits include providing fuelwood, timber, fodder and non-timber forest products (NTFPs), and regulating water availability, air purity and local climate. These and other forest benefits are known as forest ecosystem services (FES). While the Indian government has set an ambitious goal of increasing forest cover to 33 per cent by 2030 and is allocating significant state funds to restoration and protection efforts, forest and agroforestry management in India does not yet adequately value the provision of FES, particularly regarding water. Forested watersheds provide 75 per cent of accessible freshwater resources, so protecting forests is directly linked to safeguarding water resources. It is therefore crucial to address water as a vital ecosystem service in forest and agroforest management decisions.

A natural waterfall in front of forest and cliffs. ©Aashima Negi/GIZ


The forest and agroforest management is gradually being improved in terms of integrating the FES approach, with an emphasis on enhancing water availability in four Indian states.


The project focuses on the following core areas:

  • Institutionalising and upscaling the FES approach by developing working aids such as guidelines, templates and toolkits to facilitate decision-making in the integration of FES principles in planning and implementing processes. Disseminating best practices and improving the state forest authorities’ ability to provide effective FES management advice.
  • Supporting field implementation at project pilot sites with a focus on incentive-based mechanisms (IBMs) and physical interventions to improve water availability.
  • Offering skills development measures and knowledge management efforts to promote the sustainable management of FES.
  • Improving the operational conditions of agroforestry systems. to facilitate ecologically and economically sustainable value creation.

Last update: April 2023

A woman filling water to carry out everyday household chores

Additional information