THE NEED FOR IMPROVED DECISION MAKING IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL-ECONOMICS POLICY ARENA
Economic development and poverty eradication ultimately depend on the protection and sustainable use of environmental and natural resources. This is especially true for developing countries like South Africa, where millions of impoverished people are heavily reliant on natural resources for their livelihoods. In such countries, policy makers and civil servants are challenged with aligning their economic growth goals with the sustainable management of natural resources; however, they are seldom capacitated to make effective policy decisions in this regard.
By actively participating in the policy making process, providing assistance to local non-governmental organizations engaged in policy-related activities, and informing the private sector, EPRU is working to ensure that decision makers are equipped to make informed and evidence-based decisions in the environmental-economics policy arena.
The Environmental Policy Research Unit (EPRU) was formed in 2007 and is based in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Our efforts can be broadly split into three categories: research, education and outreach.
Research: We analyse environmental policy and conduct demand-responsive research that aligns with the needs of the policy community.
Outreach: We supervise Masters and PhD candidates, provide scholarships and funding, and offer our students extensive infrastructural support.
Outreach: To boost our impact on policy, practice and behaviour we use diverse formats and channels to share our findings with the public sector and civil society.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN NODE FOR THE EfD INITIATIVE
EPRU is part of the global EfD Initiative, a network of similar centers in the Global South, with a secretariat based in Sweden at the University of Gothenburg’s Environmental Economics Unit.
The EfD initiative enables us to draw on a rich network of highly skilled academics trained in environmental economics, thus promoting international collaboration. Membership of EfD facilitates publication of research by providing direct access to the international working paper series located at Resources for the Future.