Read the latest news from CSERGE.

 

The 25th Annual Conference of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists took place online Tuesday 23 June to Friday 3 July 2020.

Thematic Session: Natural capital accounting across scales: development, critique and usefulness for policy-making. 26.06.2020

Organizer(s): Ian Bateman, University of Exeter; Silvia Ferrini, University of Siena & CSERGE (University of East Anglia); Michela Faccioli, University of Exeter,

Thematic Session: Benefit transfer for Natural Capital Accounting 25.06.2020

Organizer (s): Ioanna Grammatikopoulou, Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences; Tomas Badura, Department of Human Dimensions of Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CzechGlobe) AND Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE), University of East Anglia, UK; Marije Schaafsma, Department of Environmental Economics, Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Silvia Ferrini, University of Siena & CSERGE (University of East Anglia); Robert Johnston, Clark University; David,N Barton, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research

Natural capital accounting perspectives: a pragmatic way forward

Recent debates surrounding the application of natural capital accounting (NCA) have produced several approaches to further develop this system, as well as highlighted a number of conceptual and methodological issues that need to be resolved before mainstreaming

NCA into policy and decision making. This policy forum article proposes three broad approaches to NCA. which can be progressed in parallel to reinvigorate experimentation with the NCA principles and practice.

After 50 years of civil war, in November 2016 the government signed the peace agreement with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC).  In the 15-17 July 2019, ex guerrillas were trained by University Researchers working in the GROW Colombia project to familiarize with the latest technologies and science findings that can support the development of eco-friendly businesses (e.g. ecotourism)

Jaime Erazo, CSERGE researcher, was responsible to the economic training and he commented that “I think this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all the scientists involved in this training workshop to share some knowledge that can help these new businesses to be successful,” 

Press coverage

A new article by Tomas Badura and Silvia Ferrini from CSERGE concerning the spatial issues in a stated preference valuation survey has been recently published in journal Environmental and Resource Economics. The paper analyses preferences for agro-environmental interventions in Great Britain and develops a novel methodology for incorporating spatial issues in the survey design and presentation format of a choice experiment (CE). In addition to the presented methodology the paper examines how the different format of spatial issues in CE impacts on elicited preferences. The publication is a main outcome of Tomas’ PhD research at UEA/ENV.

In mid-March 2019, Jaime Erazo (Cserge researcher) participated in a Cacao Expedition in the Choco’ Region, the afro communities in Westerner Colombia, in cooperation with researchers from University of Los Andes and the Earlham Instutute. They delivered a workshop on farm management practices for pests and diseases and economic logbook keeping.

Sarai Pouso Omaetxebarria, a CSERGE visiting researcher from AZTI. Marine and coastal environmental management (https://www.azti.es/). University of Basque supervised by Angel Borja and Maria C.Uyarra graduated with summa cum Laude at the end of March. Two of Sarai’s PhD publications in theThesis were developed during her time at UEA.

Tomas Badura has won the IAERE Young Environmental Economist Award, which is given to the best paper presented by a young economist at the Annual Conference of The Italian Association of Environmental and Resource Economics (IAERE).

BGCRF Growing Research Capability award: Preserving, restoring and managing Colombian Biodiversity through Responsible Innovation (GROW-Colombia)

CSERGE, in collaboration with the Earlham Institute and partners, was recently awarded £6.5mil by Research Councils UK through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) (http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/funding/gcrf/growingcapability/) a capacity building grant focused on preserving and managing biodiversity in Colombia.

Colombia's biodiversity is not only important for the country's natural heritage and the preservation of unique species in the world, it is also essential for the improvement of human welfare, social equality and economic development. The multidisciplinary programme’s key objective is to enhance Colombian research capability in the biological sciences, computational biology, and socio-economics, in order to raise the general awareness of the importance of biodiversity. CSERGE will lead the socio economic programme focusing on the sustainability of agricultural production together with biodiversity protection. Our goals are to build research capacity, partnerships and knowledge, with the longer-term aim of stimulating economic growth and social cohesion through biodiversity conservation.

The funded programme sits alongside the BRIDGE Colombia network (www.bridgecolombia.org) which is a multidisciplinary network of research organisations in the UK and Colombia founded in March 2017, to develop robust coordinated activities under a shared vision centered on biodiversity as a means to achieve sustainability and peace. The network actively facilitates collaborative and fully integrated research programmes; promotes research excellence and the use of innovation in technologies and approaches to develop resilience in research capabilities; stimulates partnerships; and promotes exchange of knowledge.

In July 2018,  GROW Columbia team members from EI, UEA/ CSERGE, and Bangor University gave a briefing session to members of the UK Parliamentary Cross Party Group for Latin America, which was well received.

Contact Silvia Ferrini, Kerry Turner and Corrado Di Maria.

The 6th World Congress takes place this year in June in Gothenburg, Sweden.

CSERGE will be presenting several papers at the event and Silvia Ferrini is chairing two sessions (Natural Capital and green national accounting and water valuation).

The papers being presented are:

National trends and regional differences in an enhanced Genuine Savings indicator for Italy
Paola Biasi, Silvia Ferrini, Simone Borghesi, Massimo Di Matteo, Benedetto Rocchi

Discussant: Alessandra La Notte

The role of economic valuation in ecosystem services accounting. The case of outdoor recreation and water purification in Europe
Alessandra La Notte, Silvia Ferrini

Discussant: Katrina Davis

Poster session

Investigating the preferences of remote beneficiaries for sustainable tourism development: the case of Fiji
Gaetano Grilli, . Tyllianakis, T. Luisetti, S. Ferrini, K. Turner

Egg-timer

The Influence of Weather on Outdoor Recreation: Forecasting the Implications of Climate Change
Carlo Fezzi, Silvia Ferrini, Richard Carson, Amii Harwood

An interdisciplinary team from The University of the South Pacific (USP) attended a training workshop at the University of East Anglia (UEA) from 22to 27 March 2018. Read about the CEFAS workshop

June - Nov 2017

This research is undertaken for Anglian Water Services Ltd to characterise the natural capital assets and compile a risk register for the Anglian Water region. Spatial data on pressures and assets are used to classify local authorities in the region and highlight those locations where there is likely to be a need for particularly careful spatial and resource planning in the future.

January 2017-ongoing

Prof. Kerry Turner, Dr. Silvia Ferrini and Tomas Badura are working on the European Commission project “Technical support for the development of Natural Capital Accounting”. Together with UNEP-WCMC and IEEP, the CSERGE team is supporting the development of an accounting system that better reflects the role of the natural environment in supporting economic and social activities in the EU. Such an accounting system is essential for understanding the interdependencies between economic, social and environmental systems, and to facilitate better decision making in Europe.

CSERGE’s activities

CSERGE’s team provides economic expertise on the valuation methodologies that allow development of monetary natural capital accounts. It is preparing a synthesis report on the role of various approaches to natural capital accounting (e.g. satellite accounts, wealth accounting) and categorisation of the available valuation methods for the development of monetary ecosystem accounts for these approaches. Further, CSERGE directly supports the development of pilot ecosystem service accounts for crop pollination and recreation that are being developed at the EU’s Joint Research Centre.

Background:

This project builds on the increased efforts over the past few decades to go “beyond GDP” in the measurement of societal progress. While GDP and the underpinning System of National Accounts provides an indication of economic activities within a given region’s or nation’s markets, they do not provide useful information for the assessment of sustainability. The activities within this project will contribute to the global efforts to develop broader measures of development that reflect various dimensions of sustainable development such as System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) or Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES). The development of these new metrics are crucial for number of national, EU and global efforts such as Sustainable Development Goals, actions on Global Climate Change, Poverty Alleviation or Biodiversity Conservation.

Funding:

This project is funded by the European Commission for the period of 1 to 3 years.

May 2017 - October 2017

This project proposes to integrate the results obtained from a stated preference choice experiment with results from a Q-Method analysis, to help Anglian Water better understand the subjective viewpoints underlying their customers’ willingness to pay for water quality improvements. As such, this project will deliver a step change in Anglian Water’s understandings of non-market environmental valuation and will provide vital insights on customers’ attitudes, ahead of Anglian Water’s customer engagement leading into the forthcoming Price Review.

This project will also analyse the subjective values for river water quality held by, and motivating, key stakeholders and experts external to Anglian Water. This will enable Anglian Water to improve its understanding of those stakeholders’ priorities and will provide insights into how more effective communication and information dissemination strategies may be developed.

2016

Sustainable stewardship of the marine environment necessitates a holistic approach encompassing all the relevant drivers, activities and pressures causing problems for the natural state of the system and their impact on human societies today and in the future.

The paper 'Processes for the sustainable stewardship of marine environments' by Henrick Scharin, Sic Ericsdotter, Michael Elliott, R K Turner, Susa Niiranen, Thorsten Blenckner, Kari Hyytiainen, Lassi Ahlvik, Heini Ahtiainen, Janne Aretell, Linus Hasselstrom, Tore Soderrqvist and Johan Rockstrom, provides a framework as well as a decision support process and tool that could guide such an approach.

In this process, identifying costs and benefits of mitigation is a first step in deciding on measures and enabling instruments, which has to be accompanied by analyses regarding distributional effects (i.e. who gains or loses) related to different targets and policy instruments.

As there are risks of future irreversible regime shifts and even system collapses, the assessments have to be broadened to include scenarios on possible future developments as well as ethical considerations. In particular, a deeper sustainable management strategy may be needed to respond to possible future increases in the rate of environmental change, amongst growing evidence of external pressures, interactions and non-linear dynamics.

This adaptive management strategy should focus on building the resilience required to cope with and adapt to change.

Read the report​​​​​

June 2015

CSERGE members Professor Kerry Turner and Dr Marije Schaafsma have released a book on Coastal Zones Ecosystem Services: From Science to Values and Decision Making.

The book applies the ecosystem services framework to coastal environments, showing how it could facilitate an adaptive management strategy. The authors describe a decision support system based on pluralism, pragmatism and precaution; which leads to a more flexible, ‘learn by doing’ approach to the stewardship of coastal environments.
Published 10 Jun 2015 by Springer International Publishing.
ISBN 3319172131

Contact: Kerry Turner

Lessons from the construction of a climate change adaptation plan: A Broads wetland case study - May 2016

CSERGE members Kerry Turner, Giovanna Palmieri and Tiziana Luisetti published a paper in Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management DOI: 10.1002/ieam.1774

Abstract

The dynamic nature of environmental change in coastal areas means that a flexible 'learning by doing' management strategy has a number of advantages. This paper lays out the principles of such a strategy, and then assesses an actual planning and management process focused on climate change consequences for the Broads wetland on the East coast of England. The management strategy focused on the concept of ecosystem services (stocks and flows) provided by the coastal wetland and the threats and opportunities posed to the area by sea level rise and other climate change impacts.

The analysis explores the process by which an adaptive management plan has been formulated and co-produced by a combination of centralised (vertical) and stakeholder social network (horizontal) arrangements. The process values where feasible the ecosystem services under threat and prioritises response actions. Coastal management needs a careful balance between strategic requirements imposed at a national scale and local schemes which affect regional/local communities and social networks.

These networks aided by electronic media have allowed groups to engage more rapidly and effectively with policy proposals. But successful deliberation is conditioned by a range of context specific factors, including the type of social networks present and their relative competitive/complementary characteristics. The history of consultation and dialogue between official agencies and stakeholders also plays a part in contemporary deliberation processes and the success of their outcomes. Among the issues highlighted are the multiple dimensions of nature's value; the difficulty of quantifying some ecosystem service changes, especially for cultural services; and the problem of 'stakeholder fatigue' complicating engagement arrangements.

Contacts: Tiziana Luisetti, Kerry Turner

A research paper showing how collaboration between business and academia can identify the most urgent research priorities to ensure the sustainability of food, energy, water and the environment is published in the journal Sustainability Science.

The process engaged over 250 people, including academics and companies such as Asda, EDF Energy, HSBC and Nestlé, to co-produce research priorities that are scientifically feasible and also include outputs that can be practically implemented by the business community.

The themes that emerged include

  • research around development of pragmatic yet credible tools that allow businesses to incorporate the interactions between food, energy and water demands in a changing environment into their decision-making
  • the role of social considerations and livelihoods in business decision-making in relation to sustainable management
  • identification of the most effective levers for behaviour change
  • understanding incentives or circumstances that allow individuals and businesses to take a leadership stance on these issues.

The work was led by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, as part of the Nexus Network and involved Dr Ruth Welters.

Research priorities for managing the impacts and dependencies of business upon food, energy, water and the environment. Green, J.M.H., Cranston, G.R., Sutherland, W.J…..Welters R.E et al. Sustainability Science (2016). doi:10.1007/s11625-016-0402-4

A guide for coastal lagoon managers has been published through the EU funded ARCH project, involving CSERGE Director Professor Kerry Turner from the University of East Anglia, and colleagues from other research institutes.

This straightforward guide is designed for coastal lagoon and estuary managers, such as planners and authorities at a national, regional and local level, as well as the private sector.

The guide illustrates
- why management of lagoons and estuaries is important
- how to identify and evaluate pressures on the lagoon
- what should be considered when starting up the management process
- what should be included in that process.

It emphasizes the importance of stakeholder participation in the management process which was studied in the EU-research project ARCH.

You can read more and download the guide from the ARCH website.

Image credit: San Elijo Lagoon, California, USA. With thanks to Rennett Stowe on flickr .

Contact: Kerry Turner

The Collaborative Centre for Sustainable Use of the Seas was launched in July 2016 and is a collaboration between the University of East Anglia (UEA) and The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas).

The new centre aims to provide solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing the world’s seas and society, from climate change, to energy and food security.

The Centre brings together over 40 scientists from the UEA and Cefas to combine leading-edge marine science with practical expertise and the latest technological know-how to ensure that our seas and oceans are used sustainably for the benefit of people in the UK and world-wide.

The Centre will collaborate with policy makers, advisers and industry to support UK and international marine policy in a range of areas including, marine fisheries, energy and conservation.

Projects are expected to search for real-world solutions to big issues, such as responding to the impacts of marine climate change on wildlife and fisheries or of extreme events on coasts and coastal communities, managing the extraction of aggregates from the seabed while protecting marine habitats and understanding how ocean circulation changes the risks of oil spills.

CSERGE staff contributed to the Demystifying Economic Valuation paper, published by the Valuing Nature Network.

The paper provides a summary of principles to help communication with research disciplines and users of economic value evidence.

The paper covers the following topics:

  • Why economic valuation?
  • What is economic valuation?
  • How do we estimate economic value?
  • Whose values count?
  • How do we use economic values in decision making?
  • But economic values vary! And so they should!

The paper concludes with some suggestions for how to communicate economic value evidence.