Miscellaneous News

Wednesday, 30 November 2016 13:49

BIOECON News - Issue no. 13, Autumn 2016

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News  ::  Issue 13 - Autumn 2016

:: Article

Managing our forests under threat of tree pests and diseases: a bioeconomic modelling approach 

by Morag Macpherson, University of Stirling, UK

The threat to UK forests from invasive pests and pathogens is increasing at an alarming rate. In our project, FOREMOD, we aim to build a series of bioeconomic models, which combine the ecological, epidemiological and economic drivers of a forest, to study the ways in which different management options can reduce risks and expected damages from a range of forest diseases  > more
:: Next meetings
5th Workshop on Age-structured models in Natural Resource Economics
Genueser Schiff, Lütjenburg, Germany, 17-19 May 2017
Martin Quaas, Anders Skonhoft, Olli Tahvonen and Niels Vestergaard are organising the Workshop. Both theoretical and empirical studies are welcome that integrate state-of-the-art ecological models and economics in fisheries, forestry and related fields. Examples of interesting questions include age- and size structured models, models with spatial structure, economic models with biological evolution and questions related to numerical computation of complex optimization models - Call for papers

UNEP session on “Macroeconomics Policies and Ecosystem Services” at the first Africa ESP Conference
Nairobi, Kenya, 21 – 25 November 2016
The objectives of Ecosystem Services Economics Unit session at the 2016 African ESP Conference were to explore the role of natural capital in the decision making, particularly at a national macroeconomic level. Specifically, the session wanted to understand the linkages of natural capital with macroeconomic policies; explore what the data and capacity needs at national level are and discuss the knowledge gaps and future priority of research - Readthe session briefing

:: News from the Partners
Upper-Rhine Cluster for Sustainability Research
Six universities in the German-French-Swiss Upper-Rhine region have joined forces to form a cross-border and interdisciplinary research cluster for sustainability research. This includes BIOECON’s partner University of Freiburg, Germany. Altogether, the cluster comprises more than 60 researchers and aims at becoming a center for sustainability research of European significance. Biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as economic analyses of environmental governance, are among the thematic research foci - Project website

ProEcoServ pilot project achieves spectacular results
The UNEP Project for Ecosystem Services (ProEcoServ) funded by the Global Environment Facility to the tune of nearly $6.3 million set out to find ways to integrate the findings and tools of ecosystem service assessments into policy and decision-making in four pilot countries – Chile, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and Viet Nam. Following recommendations by the Millennium Ecosystems Assessment, ProEcoServ sought to better integrate ecosystem assessment, and develop scenarios and economic valuation of ecosystem services to ensure national sustainable development planning. The programme studied grass and drylands, forests, coastal and marine ecosystems at different scales, ranging from site specific, catchment, provincial, national, to transboundary scale - Final report

The Ecosystem services' assessment in the Israeli Mediterranean project
The marine environment constitutes an asset of natural capital and benefits enjoyed by humanity. This project is the first of a kind for Israel and assesses these benefits in the territorial and economic waters of the Israeli Mediterranean Sea. An economical valuation is provided by employing spatial analysis tools alongside economic valuation methods of the different ecosystem services, hence underlying critical areas of benefit supply. In addition, by incorporating different scenarios into the analysis, the future flow of marine ecosystem services can be examined. The final outcome of the project will consist of an encompassing economic valuation of the diverse benefits given by our marine ecosystems. Project partners include: BIOECON partner Natural Resources and Environmental Research Center (NRERC) of Haifa University and Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research (IOLR) - " href="http://customer43686.musvc1.net/e/t?q=4%3dH4WYJ%26m%3dW%26E%3dE7aU%263%3d0VUN%26v%3dD2ob22wmKF_6Rtq_GbJJvbD06_srtd_5a6qpE.9oj72.od.0C%26r%3dnLJ0dR.Esu" style="color: rgb(204, 99, 9);">Contact: Prof. Shiri Shamir

:: Vacancies
Post-doc opportunity at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, USA
The successful candidate will contribute to research on coupled ecological-economic systems and capital theoretic approaches to valuing stocks of natural capital. The individual filling this position is expected to collaborate with faculty and to develop original research.  There will also be opportunities to participate in other ongoing research.  Applicants are encouraged to visit Dr. Fenichel’s web page.  Positions are expected to last 1-2 years -  Read more
:: Selected publications
Irreversibility and uncertainty cause an intergenerational equity-efficiency trade-off
Nikolai Hoberg, Stefan Baumgärtner 
Two important policy goals in intergenerational problems are Pareto-efficiency and sustainability, i.e. intergenerational equity. We demonstrate that the pursuit of these goals is subject to an intergenerational equity-efficiency trade-off. Our analysis highlights two salient characteristics of intergenerational problems and policy: (i) temporal irreversibility, i.e. the inability to revise one's past actions; and (ii) uncertainty of future consequences of present actions in human-environment systems - Full article

Land for biodiversity conservation — To buy or borrow?
Oliver Schöttker, Karin Johst , Martin Drechsler, Frank Wätzold
The conservation of endangered species and habitats frequently requires a certain type of land use which, however, leads to opportunity costs compared to profit-maximising land-use. In such a setting biodiversity conservation organisations have two main options: (1) The ‘buy alternative’ where they buy the area of interest and either carry out the necessary land-use measures themselves or hire firms to do so, or (2) the ‘borrow alternative’ where they ‘borrow’ the land for conservation from private landowners who agree to carry out biodiversity-enhancing land-use measures over a certain period while the conservation organisation compensates them for their opportunity costs - Full article

How (not) to Pay - Field Experimental Evidence on the Design of REDD+ Payments
Tim Reutemann, Stefanie Engel, Eliana Pareja
Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) can use many design features. We investigate the impact of payment conditionality types, i.e. different specifications when to pay and when not to pay, for PES on deforestation and agricultural production in a lab-in-the-field experiment. Our experiment also tests variations in contract period and payment volatility. We designed a highly visual simulation game to characterize the decision situation of a cattle rancher in Brazil. - Full article

Deforestation Rate in the Long-run: the Case of Brazil
Luca Di Corato, Michele Moretto, Sergio Vergalli
In this article we study the long-run average rate of forest conversion in Brazil. Deforestation results from the following trade-off: on the one hand, the uncertain value of benefits associated with forest conservation (biodiversity, carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services), on the other hand, the economic profits associated with land development (agriculture, ranching, etc.). We adopt the model by Bulte et al. (2002) as theoretical frame for studying land conversion and then derive, following Di Corato et al. (2013), the associated long-run average rate of forest conversion. We then identify the parameters to be used in our model - Working paper

Characterizing commercial cattle farms in Namibia: Risk, management, and sustainability 
Roland Olbrich, Martin F. Quaas, Stefan Baumgärtner
In this paper, we provide an empirical characterization of Namibian commercial cattle farming and explore the link between risk, management, and sustainability by examining structural farm patterns with a cluster analysis. Our data comes from a large-scale survey across the Namibian commercial cattle farming area, to which 398 farmers responded. Our results show that the most distinct of the three identified clusters is characterized by high sustainability and low financial risk management, and that it does not differ from the remaining two clusters with respect to income - Full article

Deconstructing the Reality of Community-Based Management of Marine Resources in a Small Island Context in Indonesia
Philipp Gorris
This study offers a detailed analysis of community-based management (CBM) in a small island in Indonesia. In the study site, area-specific stewardship for a marine territory was informally institutionalized and, in addition to state rules, locally devised rules based on informal agreements have emerged. Using multiple methods for the analysis of the perceptions of the local community, this research examines the actual impact of the different rules on the fishing patterns in that sea territory, and illuminates the rationales of the local population to engage (or not) in the community-based approach to manage the marine resources - Full article 

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