CSO Engagement with Ecological Economics
Start date: Apr 1, 2008,
End date: Sep 30, 2010
"Ecological economics (EE) and, in general, sustainability sciences make important contributions to the analyses of sustainability policies in Europe and worldwide. EE develops physical indicators and indices, provides economic valuation of environmental services and negative externalities, applies tools of multi-criteria evaluation to resource use, and promotes environmental policy instruments such as eco-taxes and marketable permits. To provide policy makers with high quality, relevant research, increased collaboration between ecological economists and CSOs is needed. Many CSOs already have a large stock of environmental knowledge but need increased capacity in EE to give an analytical foundation to activism and policy making. The social and disciplinary divide between CSO and academic research poses significant challenges. At the same time, there are real-world demands from CSOs for knowledge of EE – for instance, to assess the liability of companies in oil extraction conflicts, to evaluate plans for palm oil plantations for biofuel exports, or to establish alternative energy plans at the regional level. This project addresses CSO capacity weakness in EE through a number of coordinated activities. The focus is not on theory but on case study learning. Joint working groups will identify and report on key issues for research in water management, mining, energy, forestry and agriculture, based on CSO needs and interests. Previous cooperative research activities will be reviewed and assessed in terms of their effectiveness in meeting CSO needs, and documented and disseminated. In addition, options for future research cooperation will be explored in order to apply EE methods, tools and indicators to CSO work. Findings will be presented and enhanced at symposia embedded in the 2008 EE world conference in Nairobi (with UNEP) and the 2009 conference of the European Society for EE. A website will disseminate the project’s work and continue the capacity building process."
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