Forest landscapes provide a valuable range of natural ecosystem services that are essential to the functioning and sustainability of the planet—for example, clean water, air and the decomposition of waste. Establishing the value of ecosystem services provided by forests is essential for:
The Model Forest approach is well suited to involve local stakeholders and communities in the development of EGS programs. Treating local stakeholders as investors provides a long-term interest in the project and helps ensure that unplanned resource extraction remains highly improbable. If the program is designed in collaboration with the local community, project developers can also benefit from local knowledge to improve the biodiversity conservation and permanence of the project. By catering to different requirements of participating community members, project developers are ensuring more successful programs.
The members of the RMFN–Asia have agreed that EGS projects are a priority for the region, particularly in the context of opportunities for livelihood improvement and biodiversity conservation.