This past Thursday November 19th “La Nación” (the main newspaper in Costa Rica) published an article highlighting the work done for a special report about the impact evaluation of conservation policies that was written for the “State of the Nation Program" by EfD Central America researchers Juan Robalino and Laura Villalobos.
The Namibian government is considering whether or not to open up its offshore phosphate deposits for dredge mining. But before it does so, it wants to make a careful and considered decision based on independent analysis of the likely impacts on the environment, and how other competing industries might be affected.
Southern African states need to create the right policy, fight corruption and build infrastructure if they want tourism to thrive in their countries. By doing so, they will allow the economic development potential of the sector to trickle down to communities in a way that encourages inclusive and sustainable growth.
When ecotourism lodges employ people from within some remote communities in Southern Africa, they are often giving them their first permanent job. This highlights the importance of these staff being given adequate training as they fill their posts.
The EfD policy day brought together researchers and policy makers in discussions on improving transportation and forest policies with a focus on the Chinese context. The country has experienced a dramatic increase in economic growth during the past decades. One consequence has been a veritable explosion in the number of passenger cars increasing from 23 to 120 million in only ten years. Problems of air pollution and congestion have followed.The morning session was held against this background with inputs from Professor Daoli Zhu, Associate professors Ping Qin and Haitao Yin and Mike Toman of the World Bank.
When local communities in Ethiopia benefit financially from having access to state forests for harvesting timber and other products, they are more likely to invest in their children’s education and start up small businesses.
On October 29-30, 2015 ,Thomas Sterner, together with the French professor of economic theory and social organization at the Collège de France, Roger Guesnerie, hosted the climate workshop "Paris 2015 and beyond, cooling the climate debate" where several of the world's top climate economists participated.
Thomas Sterner has been appointed visiting professor 2015-16 at Collège de France, the most prestigious higher research institution in France.
The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics www.beijer.kva.se is announcing a new round of the Mäler Scholar competition. The institute is an international center of excellence at the interface of ecology and economics. It is based in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden and has a small staff of researchers who work on a variety of ecological-economics issues.
The scholarship is intended for early-career researchers in environmental economics from developing regions of the world who already have a PhD or are currently enrolled in a PhD program and will finish within 1-2 years. Preference is given to researchers affiliated with EfD centers and the four regional environmental economics networks—CEEPA, EEPSEA, LACEEP, and SANDEE. Others are welcome to apply. Deadline for applications is October 30.
How will people behave as they’re faced with the challenges of climate change? Will they work together to cut carbon emissions, in the interest of the greater good, or will they act in their own self-interest? And how much of a gamble will people take as they grapple with how to cope with living in a world where extreme weather events become the new ‘normal’?
Dr Kerri Brick recently won the prestigious Economic Society of South Africa (ESSA) prize for the best doctoral dissertation submitted in 2014. The Environmental Policy Research Unit (EPRU) fellow, based at the University of Cape Town’s School of Economics, submitted a thesis based on four papers which explore how people might respond to different aspects of the challenges which climate change presents society.
Since the Ethiopian government has changed the nature of forestry related property rights in order to allow communities in south-western Ethiopia to harvest timber and other resources in state forests, these communities have benefited from increased income as they now sell timber, wild coffee and honey.
When it comes to enforcing harvesting limits in forests in Ethiopia, it is more effective when communities monitor themselves, rather than when the state serves this function. But the cost of this monitoring needs to be kept low, if it is to be most successful.
The Environment for Development Central America Center (EfD Central America) hosted the EfD Annual Policy Interaction Workshop held September 16, 2015 at the Bougainvillea Hotel, Heredia, Costa Rica. This year’s theme was: "The role of Research for the Development of Policy on Water Resources and Climate Change".
It was a spontaneous turn off her intended route through Oxford 17 years ago, and into a side street, that led geographer Gina Ziervogel into the lobby of a building that would become the institutional home where she gained her doctorate, and launched her into a career that recently landed her a top research award here in South Africa.
EfD Central America Director, Francisco Alpizar held a keynote speech in the “Capacity building and dialogue on the economy of climate change” Program in Costa Rica hosted by The Central America Academy, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme.
Human beings are more complicated than early economists like to believe, and they make economic decisions based on factors that don’t necessarily boil down to money, argues Prof Martine Visser from the Environmental Policy Research Unit (EPRU) at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
The Latin America Green Awards recognize the 500 best projects of environmental practices in the region, and the Projects AC3 and CASCADE were recognized in this top 500. The event gets people to discover and celebrate that there are many ways to help the environment in the region.
For every one person employed by certain high-end tourism lodges in southern Africa, seven people benefit from the downstream flow of that income. Meanwhile, staff employed in these sorts of ventures help grow the local economy by spending their wages at community stores where they do their grocery shopping. Or they drive secondary employment through hiring people for child care or to tend their livestock while they work. Or they’re sending their children to school.
The immediate downstream benefits of tourism can be measured in clear economic terms for remote communities who have few employment prospects in rural Africa. But the social, environment, and political impacts are also key to driving ‘inclusive growth’ for such communities.
Carlos Chávez gives a presentation in the context of a Workshop on Monitoring and Productivity of Chilean TURFs. The activity took place during June in the city of Puerto Montt, southern Chile, with the participation of leaders from more than 40 organization of artisanal fishermen, government officials, the National Fisheries Services, and the Chilean Judicial system.
Senior EfD Research Fellow and Research Fellow of NENRE-Concepción, Jorge Dresdner, was nominated associate editor of the journal Marine Resource Economics, for a period of three years from the first of July 2015.
The Latin American and Caribbean Environmental Economics Program (LACEEP) is celebrating its first 10 years of activities and to celebrate its accomplishments the LACEEP authorities brought together previous and current grantees, policy and decision makers, academicians and other key actors of the environmental and resource economics of the region.
The work by Mary Karumba, a doctoral researcher at the University of Cape Town’s Environmental Research Policy Unit (EPRU) in South Africa, recently received some international coverage when the Heinrich Boll Foundation (HBF) ran a column on the work she is doing in her home country.
A tattoo artist, a bread maker, a ‘spaza’ shop owner, and a hair stylist - all from the small town of Piketberg, in the wheat- and fruit-farming region about an hour’s drive north-east of Cape Town - have something unusual in common. And it’s all in their wallets.
EfD was well represented during EAERE21, 2015, in Helsinki Finland, last week. Our researchers participated in a wide range of sessions.One of the EfD organized sessions was the Thematic Policy Session on Energy and development: The role of clean cook stoves organized by Marc Jeuland (Duke), Gunnar Köhlin (University of Gothenburg).
A workshop, titled ‘Sustainable energy transitions in low and middle-income countries: lessons for Ethiopia’ was held on June 1st to 3rd in Ethiopia to explore the potential for a new EfD research program on the drivers and impacts of energy transitions.
Marcela Jaime recently defended her thesis: Essays on behavioral Economics and Policy Design. What it is about?
My thesis is about unintended effects of behavioral and policy interventions and its effects on policy design. Unintended effects of policies, either positive or negative, are often referred to as spillover effects. Specifically, my thesis investigates spillover effects of monetary and non-monetary policy instruments for environment and natural resource management, in both developing and developed settings.
Effective kitchen stoves that use less firewood and emit fewer greenhouse gases are both cheap and available to the rural population in many developing countries. But the demand for the stove is low. From his field study in Ethiopia, economist Sied Hassen at the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, draws the conclusion that the bargaining power in the household is the key for understanding the adoption of more effective stoves.
Smallholder farmers in Tanzania, who have seen how climate change has altered rainfall patterns and pushed up temperatures, are adapting their farming methods to meet these shifting conditions. This presents an opportunity for the government there to tailor its policies to help farmers meet future farming challenges.
Past Thursday 18th Pope Francisco released its long-awaited Encyclical on the Environment in which he warned against "suicidal" behavior of a global economic system. This same day a national news article acknowledged the participation of EfD-CA Center Director Francisco Alpizar in the Encyclical on the Environment. Alpizar was one of three Latin Americans who participated in the meeting held in May 2014 at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
To read the complete article please click Here (Spanish Only).
Some rural communities in Zimbabwe are trying to get greater control of the income gained from hunting licenses, bypassing the regional government offices which have traditionally managed these revenues. And now, local economists want to understand if this is working to the benefit of the community, and if it’s enhancing their welfare.
When poorer rural families in Zimbabwe are able to collect bushmeat, it may allow them to increase their household income through selling the meat within their communities. This means that if policies help support communities’ access to wildlife, these can address poverty and decrease the inequality gap in these areas.
The economic theory taught from textbooks in South African universities is 50 years out of date and needs an urgent revision, argues economist and fisheries expert Prof Tony Leiman.
On Thursday and Friday this week, May 28-29, Maria Naranjo visits The Choice Lab. During her stay, she will discuss the design of the project "Risk taking and fairness: A lab in the field experiment with coffee farmers in Costa Rica”.
IDRC Climate Change and Water research is being presented at the World Water Congress being held in Edinburgh next week, and we're inviting you to join the conversation!
Project coordinator Barbara Viguera, represented the CASCADE project in the National Forum: Climate Smart Territories: an approach to land management and adaptation to climate change, held May 6 in La Ceiba, Honduras.
Local communities are getting involved more and more in conservation projects in and around protected areas in southern Africa, as a way of complementing government-led or private sector efforts to shore up biodiversity and nature conservation.
How can charging money for something that was free be a good idea for poor farmers? It turns out that pricing irrigation water will help improve Ethiopian farmers’ efficiency in water use, increase agricultural and food production, and make the population less vulnerable to climate change. One unique contribution of environmental economists is that they collect data from the field and then calculate what natural resources are really worth.
People in Central America’s rural areas will face a 20 percent decline of drinking water availability by 2050, estimates show. EfD researchers are now collecting information from 8 000 households in Nicaragua, Guatemala and Costa Rica. The primary aim is to map capabilities and obstacles for communities to adapt, and to provide community leaders tools and skills to respond to drier scenarios. EfD findings also support governmental adaptation policies.
To make hydroelectric power work better in rural communities, EfD Tanzania researchers decided to have in-depth contact with the grassroots through community-based and civil society organizations. Findings from a study on management of the hydropower plants in the southern highlands region show that rural electrification has proven to boost farmers’ earnings: Electric power increases the processing and value addition of agricultural products, which helps farmers fetch premium market prices.
The South African node of the EfD network, the Environmental Economics Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town is working towards influencing South African policy in four key areas: climate change, biodiversity conservation, marine fisheries, and energy. One of the recent studies identified mixed farming as a crucial strategy to adapt to climate change, particularly for small farmers.
Like many water utilities across the globe, Nairobi City Water and Sewer Company implements an increasing block tariff. Recent research conducted by EfD Kenya, however, finds that the increasing block tariff implemented in Nairobi does not effectively target subsidies to low-income households. Estimates suggest that non-poor households receive over 80 per cent of the subsidies.
Air pollution caused by wood-burning in homes for cooking and heating purposes is one of the most important environmental problems in Chile, affecting thousands of families and causing early mortality. EfD Chile researchers study families’ and producers’ economic behavior, and advise the government to incorporate effective economic incentives to design better pollution control policies.
What is the best way to nudge people towards using water and electricity more efficiently? This question is central to a study which kicks off this year in two municipalities in South Africa, with the idea of rolling the models out nationally in the long term.
Cities in sub-Saharan Africa are growing fast, and with that, many are losing their urban green spaces. Placing a value on such urban spaces can motivate policymakers to prioritise conservation or restoration of natural systems which provide important environmental services and contribute to human wellbeing.
Environment and Climate Research Center (ECRC) is a new research center established in the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI) in partnership with the Environment for Development Initiative (EfD), and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). The new research center will support green and climate-resilient development in Ethiopia as a knowledge backstop.
EfD Kenya recently held it's 2015 Research Day on 26th February at Hillpark Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. EfD Kenya and KIPPRA presented the organisations' ongoing research in the water, extractive minerals and climate change sectors.
Fewer industrial firms would violate environmental legislation and a higher number would adopt cleaner technologies if environmental authorities would focus their monitoring efforts on companies with the most environmentally damaging technology. At a societal level, such a strategy would mean less pollution at the same or a lower cost of monitoring, according to a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg’s School of Business, Economics and Law.
The EfD Chilean Center, Research Nucleus in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics at the University of Concepción, organized for the fourth time, a discussion workshop on the design of public policies on the use of natural and environmental resources. The objective of the workshop was to develop a scientific discussion to think about the state of the art in Natural Resource Economics and the Environment in Chile and contribute to maintain a long-run collaborative relationship with Policy Makers working in the areas of fisheries management, air pollution control and climate change.