Affiliations: [a] Energy and Wetlands Research Group (CES TE15), Centre for Ecological Sciences
| [b] Centre for Sustainable Technologies (astra)
| [c] Centre for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP) Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru – 560 012, India
Abstract: Wetlands are productive ecosystems, providing an array of services that sustain the well-being of dependent biota. Post industrialization and globalization era witnessed a spurt in the anthropogenic activities, leading to the degradation and decline of fragile ecosystems. This necessitates the conservation of vital ecosystems through sustainable management tenets, this requires an understanding of the livelihood support of ecosystems. The focus of the study, discussed in this article, is to understand the worth of wetlands through the accounting of provisioning, regulating, and cultural services. The provisioning services through accounting of tangible benefits (fish, fodder, water, etc.) considering residual values indicate an annual revenue of INR49.70 billion. Similarly, accounting of non-use values of ecosystems through the benefit transfer method indicates regulating and cultural services support of INR196.89 billion and INR37.93 billion per year, respectively. The annual flow of the total ecosystem supply value accounts for INR284.52 billion per year and the net present value (NPV) amounts to INR7320.6 billion, signifying the ecological, socio-cultural, and environmental support wetland provides to ecosystems in Karnataka. Appraisal of ecosystem services allows for adjusted national accounts, which reflect the output of ecosystem services as well as the depletion of natural resources and the degradation costs (externalized costs of the loss of ecosystem services) of ecosystems in economic terms, which will help raise awareness and provide a quantitative tool to evaluate the sustainability of policies towards prudent management and conservation of fragile livelihood-supporting ecosystems. The monetary valuation of ecosystem services can help in building a better understanding of their influence on well-being and can further facilitate information-driven decisions and policy reforms that align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the judicious use of natural resources.
Keywords: Wetlands, Microalgae, Fish, Macrophyte, SEEA, Ecosystem service, Provisioning service, Cultural service, Regulating service, Total ecosystem supply value (TESV), Net present value (NPV), Karnataka