Training on using InVEST to assess Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services



Posted on 01 April 2012  | 
InVEST Introductory Seminar and Technical Workshop, Bangkok 2-6 April 2012
InVEST Introductory Seminar and Technical Workshop, Bangkok 2-6 April 2012
© WWF-Greater MekongEnlarge
In March 2012 WWF-Greater Mekong's Landscape Conservation Program convened the first regional event focused on assessing natural capital and ecosystem services using the InVEST Toolbox, an Integrated set of models and approaches for valuing ecosystem services and exploring tradeoffs. The training was supported by WWF-Greater Mekong, WWF-Thailand, WWF-Austria, WWF-US, and the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, and the UNDP.

Day 1 of the 4-day event convened over 100 conservation practitioners and over 10 reporters for a broad overview of the concepts of natural capital, ecosystem services, and the use of scenarios in supporting responsible and integrated decision-making. Preliminary results from a regional study on the value of natural capital were presented to give participants an idea of what is at stake when it comes to appropriately assessing and evaluating natural capital in the region. The EcoBEST Project also presented their project model and discussed how they are using tools like InVEST in their work.

During days 2-4, a smaller group of technical practitioners learned about InVEST in detail using their own data to build and evaluate models in the context of supporting specific decisions they had identified. This technical training focused on best practices in using scenarios and on InVEST's Forest Carbon and Freshwater models.

Since the workshop, interest in the InVEST toolbox has continued to grow in the region with WWF and others sponsoring a number of training events and applying the tools to better understand natural capital and how it relates to key policies and development decisions in the region.

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