Assessing the Economic Benefits of Sustainable Land Management Practices in Bhutan
64 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2014
Date Written: July 1, 2014
This study was conducted with the objective of determining the returns to sustainable land management (SLM) at the national level in Bhutan. The study first uses satellite data on land change (Landsat) to examine land use change in 1990–2010 and its impact on sediment loading in hydroelectric power plants. The study then uses the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to analyze the impact of land use change and land management on sediment loading. The results from the land use change and SWAT analyses are used to assess the economic benefits of SLM. We estimate the benefits and costs of SLM practices and compare them with the land-degrading practices that are most prevalent in Bhutan — that is, business as usual. An analysis of the drivers of adoption of SLM practices is also done to draw conclusions about strategies that Bhutan could use to enhance adoption of SLM practices.
Keywords: hydroelectric power, Land degradation, Land management, Land use, soil and water assessment tool, soil fertility, Sustainability, Sustainable land management
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