Friday, December 19, 2014

Benefits from Upland Ecosystems

by Antonio C. Antonio
December 16, 2014

The benefits from upland ecosystems can generally be classified into (1) economic benefits, (2) social services and (3) environmental services.

ECONOMIC BENEFITS from the uplands:
  1. Felling of natural forest trees for timber, poles and fuelwood;
  2. Harvesting of minor forest products such as rattan, fibres, wild foods;
  3. Felling of commercial tree plantations for timber, poles, fuelwood, pulp;
  4. Felling of trees within small-scale individual/community woodlots/tree plantations for timber, poles and fuelwood;
  5. Water supply for domestic and industrial use from surface or ground water sources;
  6. Irrigation of annual and perennial crops;
  7. Hydroelectric and geothermal power production;
  8. Agricultural activities for annual crop production;
  9. Agricultural activities for perennial crop production;
  10. Small-scale livestock production activities;
  11. Large-scale intensive livestock production activities;
  12. Fishery activities;
  13. Mining production activities; and,
  14. Quarrying production activities.
SOCIAL SERVICES aimed at improving the quality of life in the uplands:
  1. Tourism Activities (eco-cultural-tourism and scenic landscape tours);
  2. Recreational Activities (hiking, trekking, mountain climbing and water sports);
  3. Historical Activities (historical monuments and archeological sites);
  4. Cultural Activities (burial sites and indigenous cultures, beliefs and knowledge);
  5. Health Services (clean air and water);
  6. Livelihood, Social Equity and Poverty Alleviation programs and projects; and,
  7. Prevention of Rural-Urban Migration.

  1. Carbon sequestration;
  2. Biomass production;
  3. Oxygen production;
  4. Perpetuates the water cycle with specific functions for filtration and steady supply of good quality water;
  5. Biodiversity Service function in the protection of endangered species, preservation of ecosystems and the preservation of the natural, agricultural and forestry gene pool;
  6. Prevention of soil erosion, soil fertility, slope stabilization and landslide control;
  7. Water conservation, storage and pollution control; and,
  8. Flood mitigation, reduction of surface run-offs, reducing peak streams and river flows after heavy rains.

Upland ecosystems contribute more than tangible good but also intangible services.  Many songs and poems are made by composers and poets from inspiration they get from green and healthy upland ecosystems.  Writers curiously become prolific when they are near Mother Nature.  A lot of people also find peace, tranquillity and spiritual renewal by simply spending time in the mountains and woods.  These goods and services, plus some more I could have missed, are the benefits from upland ecosystems.

Just my little thoughts…

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