WCERE 2018: During the world congress, two new regional environmental economists associations were announced. The Latin American association (LAERE) was launched during one of the policy sessions, and Edwin Muchapondwa, University of Cape Town, organized a meeting to spur interest for an African association.
Launch of a Latin American Association (LAERE)
LAERE was founded in 2017 by a group of Latin American researchers. The association´s mission is to foster collaboration and exchange of ideas across researchers, students and policymakers working on environmental and resource economics topics in Latin America.
In the WCERE 2018 policy session “Pressing environmental problems in Latin America: knowledge gaps and research needs to inform better policy” the announcement was made about the creation and launch of the Latin American Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (LAERE). LAERE follows the steps of previous efforts (namely ALEAR and LACEEP) to build a cohesive community of researchers and practitioners.
‘After more than 10 years of meeting each other in Environmental and Resource Economics conferences all over the world, we became coauthors and friends. During the last twenty years, the number of researchers working in this field in the Latin American region has increased considerably’ says Francisco Alpízar, one of the LAERE board members.
Several of the researchers involved in the creation of LAERE are EfD affiliated. Board Members include EfD researchers Francisco Alpizar, Claudia Aravena, Marcelo Caffera, Jorge Maldodano, Oscar Melo, Juan Robalino, Felipe Vásquez Lavín.
Plans for an African association
EfD affiliated Edwin Muchapondwa of University of Cape Town, organized a meeting during the world congress to discuss a proposal of an African Association.
Proposed activities for an African association could be eg. To organize Specialized summer courses; Thematic writers' workshops; Journal special issues with content from the African continent; Biennial conference, Graduate student mentoring, Policy Interaction and communication; Fundraising for conference attendance and to organizing special sessions at European and World congresses.
‘Unlike other regions, environmental and resource economists in Africa have not organized themselves for better collaboration, information sharing, advocacy, visibility and impact. It is time we make this happen’ concludes Edwin Muchapondwa.