The University of Concepción (UdeC), the host of NENRE EfD Chile, promoted the center to a “Research Program in the Economics of Natural Resources and Environment” on April 17th. This provided institutional recognition and a grant for advanced capacity-building to EfD Chile. The center is part of the University's Vice-Rectory for Research and Development (VRID) and now has the highest category a research group can achieve within UdeC.
The aims of the center are aligned with those of the University: To position itself as a national leader in science with international projection, to improve research tools, and create multidisciplinary teams that link science and technology with policymakers.
Marcela Jaime, Director of NENRE EfD-Chile and Associate Professor at the UdeC’s School of Business and Administration in Campus Chillán, noted that this recognition is the result of hard and sustained work by the team of researchers for more than a decade, which led them to be a Millennium Nucleus (part of the National Agency of Research and Development program), an UdeC research group, an EfD center, and now granted with the category of a research program.
“Being institutionally recognized like this is the result of a process in which VRID gave us the necessary support and feedback to generate a solid proposal. After having received the approval of different university entities, it was finally received and approved by the Rectory at the beginning of this year,” she says.
Greater visibility for the team
"The NENRE EfD-Chile group has been working in a sustained manner for more than a decade" says Marcela Jaime, "with the creation of this program, which contributes to its institutionalization, we hope to strengthen the scientific impact of our work and its contribution to the design and evaluation of public policies”.
Hope for more policy impact
"We hope that this new institutional framework will contribute to strengthening our capacities, with a view to becoming a national benchmark in the discipline," says Marcela Jaime.
“This figure will allow the NENRE EfD Chile team to be awarded government initiatives that can give us greater stability and recognition for a greater number of years," she said.
Marcela Jaime underlined the goals to increase academic and scientific productivity and impact activities with policymakers and other key actors, with whom "synergistic relationships can be established”.
“The center contributes with capacity building, leading in the short and long term to the training of new environmental economists in the country," she concluded.
About NENRE EfD-Chile: NENRE EfD-Chile is an international research center in Environmental and Resource Economics and part of the EfD initiative. Its investigators do research with a strong policy impact. The members of EfD belong to six different regions in central-southern Chile: Universidad de Concepción (host), Universidad del Bío-Bío, Universidad de Talca, Universidad de la Frontera, Universidad del Desarrollo, and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. The center’s research recognizes that environmental and resource issues have a local or regional origin, but that the impact may be global. They seek solutions that contribute to sustainable and inclusive development, with special emphasis on the countries in the Global South. Besides working with policymakers and including them in their activities, the center’s members promote the participation of students and practitioners, highly contributing to capacity-building. NENRE EfD-Chile also promotes gender equality within and outside their institutions.
By Belén Pulgar.