1. Editorial

  • Editorial by Tim Foxon

2. News from ESEE and its members

  • 10th International conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics: “Ecological Economics and Institutional Dynamics”, 18-21 June 2013, Lille, France
  • Call for future ESEE Conference Organisers

3. Other news

  • Elinor Ostrom R.I.P.
  • Three news on Environmental Policy and Governance, the ESEE journal
  • Symposium on “Growth, prosperity and quality of life” - A new compass in politics and society”
  • Is the end of raw materials approaching? – 40 years discussion on the Limits to Growth
  • Symposium review - 'Economics as if life mattered’

4. Hot topic

  • Navigating change to accountable and fair environmental governance - by Tatiana Kluvánková-Oravská

5. Events

  • 12th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE), 16-19 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Rio+20 Side Events: Ukraine’s initiative on World Environmental Constitution, 19 June 2012
  • Rio+20 Side Events: Meeting/Workshop on Economic Degrowth for Sustainability and Equity, 18 June 2012 (TBC)
  • 3rd International Conference on Sustainability Transitions “Sustainable Transitions: Navigating Theories and Challenging Realities”, 29-31 August 2012, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 3rd  International Conference on Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, 19-23 September 2012, Venice, Italy
  • Workshop on Collective Agency & Institutions, Sustainability, and the Capability Approach, 27-28 September 2012, UFZ, Leipzig, Germany
  • Growth in Transition Conference, October 8-10 2012, Vienna

6. Job openings

  • Open position: Doctoral student in environmental risk governance, Environmental Policy Research Group, University of Helsinki
7. Student and early career
  • New ESEE student representative
  • New email list and discussion group for ESEE students
  • Launch of Doctoral School in Social Ecology, Vienna
  • Scottish marine research visiting fellowship scheme
  • IUCN Sustainable Use Specialist Group
  • Stirling Environment Camp, 4-6 September 2012
  • Conflicts over commons summer school series: fisheries, co-organized by Boğaziçi University and the University of Manchester, 27 August-2 September 2012, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Call for abstracts: 2nd Vienna Workshop on Sustainable Development for Doctoral Students, 15-16 November 2012, Vienna, Austria
  • Multiple Methods in Interdisciplinary Environmental Research - Ecological Economics Summer Institutes
  • Student Research Exposé - Miguel Brandão

1. Editorial:

by Tim Foxon

Summer 2012 again feels like a time of great challenges, but also potential opportunities, for finding ways forward that can achieve environmental sustainability, increasing social well-being and wider economic prosperity. The economic challenges currently facing many European countries, particularly Greece and Spain at the moment, with severe austerity measures imposed leading to stringent cuts to public sector activities and high levels of unemployment, seem to many of us as a symptom of the failed but still dominant neo-classical economic model. I would argue that we need to keep working hard to show how the insights and ideas that ecological economists have been developing for many years can point the way towards more inclusive and sustainable solutions. In this regard, it is encouraging to see that next year’s ESEE Conference, to take place in Lille, France from 18-21 June 2013, will be preceded by a policy event in Brussels on ‘Ecological Economics and the EU-level policy making: where do we stand in terms of interaction?’. This should provide a good opportunity for our community to engage with high-level European policy-makers. Of course, many of you are already engaged in other research and international collaborative efforts to influence policy thinking.

Unfortunately, the signs are that the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, taking place later this month, will again be long on warm-worded declarations and short on actions that challenge dominant political and economic ways of thinking. Again, many of us will be sceptical about the extent to which the rhetoric of a ‘green economy’ represents a break with previous thinking rather than ‘old wine in new bottles’, but I would argue that ecological economists need to engage with this debate and strongly put forward what our ideas of a ‘green economy’ are. Hopefully, some of the ideas to be discussed at the ISEE2012 Conference the previous week will find their way into the Rio+20 conference discussions.

Though there is not an ESEE Conference this summer, for those of us who decided not to go to the ISEE2012 Conference, there will still be other opportunities to meet up and share the latest ideas. I look forward to meeting up with old and new friends from the ecological economics community at the International Conference on Sustainability Transitions in Copenhagen, Denmark on 29-31 August 2012.


2. News from ESEE and its members:

10th International conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics: “Ecological Economics and Institutional Dynamics”, 18-21 June 2013, Lille, France

Proposals for paper and poster presentations (abstracts with 1200 words with a summary of 800 characters) on any of the following Conference themes, and for the organisation of special sessions in the form of focused discussions/thematic sessions, are welcomed. A limited number of special sessions (10 to 15% maximum of the parallel and special sessions) can be organized in French. Abstracts articulating social and environmental questions would be particularly appreciated.

Themes of the conference
-    Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary theoretical approaches
-    Methodological and epistemological issues
-    Governance, policies and institutions
-    Resources and environment
-    Actors and behaviors
-    Towards a Socio-Ecological Transition
-    Institutionalization of Ecological Economics: a European Perspective
-    Etc.

Keynote speakers and roundtable participants will include: Michel Capron, Andrew Dobson, Florence Jany-Catrice, Inge Røpke, Elizabeth Shove, Clive Spash…

Proposals for special sessions: 1 October 2012
Notification of acceptance of special sessions: 31 October 2012
Submission of abstracts for papers and posters:  30 November 2012
Notification of acceptance of papers and posters: 15 February 2013

Call for future ESEE Conference Organisers 

ESEE holds its conference biennially. These conferences normally attract 300-450 social and natural scientists. Last year we met in Istanbul, and Olivier Petit and his team are currently busy organising next year's meeting in Lille.

For 2015 and 2017 we are now looking for individuals / groups who might be interested in applying for organising a conference in either of these years. Organising a conference is an opportunity to highlight the profile of a research group (or several groups in a country). Don't worry, if you don't have much experience in organising big academic events. ESEE offers advice based on past experience and key points have been summarised in a conference handbook. We encourage people with enthusiasm for the field of ecological economics and for bringing people together.

If you are interested, please send an Expression of Interest until 30 September 2012 to Irene Ring at - Your proposal should include:

1. Contact information of point person and other already committed members of the local organising committee (LOC) (individuals and groups in the host location or country willing to help organising the conference). List all individuals that you would like to involve in the conference committee and any staff resources for local assistance in organising the conference logistically.

2. Proposed location: Please identify a suitable meeting venue that can accommodate up to about 450 conference participants. The proposed meeting facilities must be able to accommodate the following: Plenary sessions, about 10 concurrent sessions, poster and exhibition area, information and registration desk, receptions, catering area and other potential functions, such as computer and internet access, student workshops, and other small meeting rooms.

3. Accessibility and lodging: Please describe transportation and lodging options and ease of conference site. The location of the conference venue should be reasonably accessible for international and national participants and not too costly or time-consuming. Accommodation should be available in broad price and quality ranges for all conference participants.

4. Finance, potential sponsorships and in-kind support: The LOC is responsible for all financial aspects linked with the administration and organisation of the conference that should be self-financing. Next to conference registration fees, sponsoring and in-kind support may play an important role. It is advisable that the LOC organises fund-raising activities: financial, scholarships, and in-kind contributions towards the conference are welcome. Please describe your ideas in this respect.

5. Amenities of the location: including restaurants, arts, recreation and other attractions.

6. Sustainability and environmental advantages: please list the advantages your site and conference can offer in this area. This can refer to offerings by local hotels, food and waste options, (public) transportation, etc.

7. Previous experience in organising scientific meetings or conferences: Please list events, responsible individuals / groups (who are also members of the ESEE conference LOC) and participant numbers.

A proposer is not expected to have firm answers to all questions at this stage. However, these items are important as a first checklist for you and for the ESEE Board to decide upon future ESEE conference venues. A final decision for the conference venue of ESEE 2015 is expected to be taken by June 2013. We are looking forward to hearing from you!


3. Other news:

Elinor Ostrom R.I.P.

The European Society for Ecological Economics deeply regrets the passing of Elinor Ostrom (12.6.2012), who received the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics.

Lin has been an exceptional academic leader who promoted not only a shift of paradigms in social and economic sciences, but also in the ways governance and policies are thought about and in the relationship between natural and social sciences. Elinor Ostrom a key note speaker of ESEE 2007 and THEMES summer school in Slovakia inspired a number of ecological economists for interdisciplinary research across natural and social sciences. She will be missed enormously but WE will continue to honor her legacy by furthering research on environmental governance and collective actions.

Three news on Environmental Policy and Governance, the ESEE journal

1.    First, we can celebrate: After a rather long time of consideration, ISI has integrated our journal into its database. Environmental Policy and Governance (EPG) starts off with an impact factor of 1.5 (even though it rather would be 1.8 according to preliminary calculations). So, publishing in the primary outlet of ESEE is now worthwhile also for those amongst us who want to please their institutes by having a good impact factor.

2.    The special issue from the last ESEE conference is nearly ready – only the editorial is missing (as well as the odd latecomer). We (i.e. the editors of this special issue: Begum Özkaynak, Irene Ring and Felix Rauschmayer) will present papers on economic localisation, green new deal and ecosocialism, environmental policy in Madagascar, multi-level analysis of socio-economic systems metabolism, and on sustainable development indicators. The issue will be out in October this year.

3.    Finally, there is a change in editorship. EPG has two editors: Andrew Gouldson, the main editor, and one ESEE-editor. I had the honour of serving as ESEE editor for more than 3 years, and will now pass the responsibility to Begum Özkaynak whom many of you know as the proficient and caring organizer of the ESEE 2011 conference in Istanbul. She has been designated by the ESEE board and will take on responsibility this summer. Besides the ESEE editor, quite a few ESEE and ISEE members are members of the EPG editorial board, which holds its meetings at ESEE conferences. Furthermore, ESEE has the right to use some pages in the printed volumes and is represented with information on the EPG homepage.

Best wishes
Felix Rauschmayer

Symposium on “Growth, prosperity and quality of life” - A new compass in politics and society”

Does growth undermine our prosperity? How can we secure our welfare in a sustainable way, without harming future generations with our economic activity? Can we decouple economic growth from resource use permanently? The Enquete Commission of Germany organised a symposium dealing with these very questions in March 2012 at the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany. Invited speakers included Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Prof. Carl Christian von Weizsäcker from the Max-Planck-Institute for Common Goods, Prof. Marina Fischer-Kowalski, University of Klagenfurt, Prof. Mathias Binswanger, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz Olten, and Martine Durand, Chief Statistician of the OECD.

More details (in German):

Is the end of raw materials approaching? – 40 years discussion on the Limits to Growth

Discussion on the Austrian national Radio (ORF) featuring Sigrid Stagl and Clive Spash from the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

Link to the radio file (In German)

Symposium review - 'Economics as if life mattered’

Bringing to life Schumacher's very worthwhile, classical yet up-to-date reading, the symposium ‘Economics as if Life Mattered’ at the Zoological Society of London in May 2012, focused on identifying how current global economic policy hinders conservation and how to shape it in order to save species and ecosystems. A very fine combination of speakers as well as a high diversity of participants (from financial economists to primatologists) favoured engaging and inspiring discussions, both on stage and over informal conversations. Aiora Zabala reports.

The symposium was organised by the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC), the New Economics Foundation (nef) and the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE), and supported by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Key speakers included Alejandro Nadal (UNAM - Mexico), Robert Alexander (Sweet Briar College, US) and Brian Czech (Center for the Advancement of a Steady State Economy, US).

A debate rooted in the specific issue of wildlife valuation and in the role of protected areas led to broader discussions on pathways for conservation. Inevitably but often overlooked, macroeconomic policies play a key role in shaping both degradation and conservation (Nadal). Considered unfair, unsustainable, unhappy and unstable, further reflection on the global economic system is essential in this quest (Esteban). Several speakers reminded the fact that considering economic systems as closed systems isolated from the environment is one of the major cause of current conservation failures: as long as physical limits and real value of ecosystems are not accounted for in economic appraisal, conservation is hindered and wild diverse ecosystems are destroyed.

Values other than the monetary as drivers of human decision were also emphasized via measures of progress beyond GDP and Maslow's pyramid of human needs. Interestingly, the lower the position in the pyramid of the need driving a decision, the stronger the behaviour of the actor appears to be (Alexander). The risk of financialisation of nature was also recalled, as well as the apparent impossibility of putting a value to the invaluable. The latter is still a major question to solve in economic theory and political practice: How can we commensurate the incommensurable in order to make informed political decisions? Perhaps a shortcut to such a theoretical endeavour may be shifting the question: Is it actually necessary to compare the invaluable? Or, can we find alternative decision-making procedures? Another issue may be to question how dominant, normative principles that guide current economic policy making, such as profit maximisation and price stability, can be dethroned by other more human-like, wellbeing based principles or goals. Thus, what principles can we use to equilibrate the intrinsic importance of life with the instrumental value of economic activity into single decisions? Maybe by redefining these underpinning principles, the quest for a technical way to commensurate the incommensurable would stop being vital.

Interestingly, Alejandro Nadal's assertion that the macroeconomic is not the juxtaposition of the microeconomic contrasted with Robert Alexander's final statement on that 'fate is the accumulation of innumerable small decisions'. However, this contrast may be complementary rather than opposed when framing both in the context of complex systems theory: large scale systems (macro) show emergent properties which arise from multiple interactions of agents at the small scale (micro), yet these properties may not be detectable at the small scale. Hence the macro is not just the aggregation of the micro, yet it is still built on the outcomes of multiple micro interactions. In plain words, the combination of two elements may be much more than the sum of both. However this rule of thumb that echoes the extrapolation of the micro to the macro also represents still a gap to overcome in general economic theory.

Speaking about links and gaps, arguably one major failure among the conservationist community is that it has failed to make a clear, direct link between biodiversity and economics (Czech). This relates to a hot topic in informal conversations during the symposium: the general need for conservation and sustainability experts to speak to the 'non-usual suspects', to stop only 'preaching to the converted' and to elaborate on convincing arguments for sceptics. There was also a general agreement on the opinion that valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services shall be taken with caution due to its many theoretical flaws, but that it has started to play a remarkable role in environmental advocacy while other more radical, effective solutions are not being implemented.

Another analogy based on complex systems theory leads us to a concluding remark. Panarchy loops illustrate how small-scale, faster processes affect large scale, slower processes and vice-versa. Because this influence is essentially reciprocal, changes at any scale can have significant effects on the overall system. Therefore adequately planned and executed small-scale conservation projects are as necessary as a thorough reflection and discussion on how the broader global economic system works, in order for wildlife conservation to become real.

Aiora Zabala is a doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge


4. Hot topic:

Navigating change to accountable and fair environmental governance - by Tatiana Kluvánková-Oravská

European governance today is facing a number of challenges. Complexity of the present world, in particular diversity of interest, multiple decision actors, and the dynamics of economic and natural processes have dramatically increased the probability of unexpected events and their impact across different scales. Global systems are characterized by dynamics of human-environment interactions and interconnections across natural and social systems. This makes such systems more vulnerable. The risk of natural disasters such as floods, heat waves, water security problems and biodiversity loss are just part of the evidence that humanity may be crossing planetary boundaries and approaching dangerous tipping points. Reducing the risk of potential global environmental disaster requires a “constitutional moment” comparable in scale and importance to the reform of governance that followed World War II.

In an article published in Science on March 16 earlier this year, 32 governance experts affiliated with the Earth System Governance Project point out that a more effective environmental governance system needs to be instituted. “Navigating the Anthropocene: Improving Earth System Governance” argues for seven structural institutional changes in global environmental governance to prevent rapid and irreversible change on ecosystems and human societies.

In particular the paper calls for the creation of a UN Sustainable Development Council to better integrate sustainable development concerns across the UN system, with a strong role for the twenty largest economies (G20) and suggests upgrading of the UN Environment Programme to a full-fledged UN agency. In order to improve the speed of decision-making in international negotiations, the article calls for stronger reliance on qualified majority-voting in international decision-making. The scientists, several of them ecological economists, also argue for increased financial support for poorer nations, including through novel financial mechanisms such as air transportation levies. In addition, the article calls for stronger consultative rights for representatives of civil society in global governance, based on mechanisms that balance differences in influence and resources among civil society representatives. The proposed institutional novelties are questioning traditional representative democracy and intend to increase power of major global actors but at the same time make them accountable for decisions taken and introduce a more equitable position for less powerful parties.

The assessment underlying this article has been presented at the science conference “Planet under Pressure”, held in March 2012 in London and it is also a key contribution of the science community to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20”).


5. Events:

12th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE), 16-19 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Few days are left for the biennial conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics – ISEE 2012: ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS AND RIO +20 – CONTRIBUTIONS AND CHALLENGES FOR A GREEN ECONOMY – June 16-19, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to dovetail with Rio +20 UNCSD Earth Summit.

Visit the conference

Rio+20 Side Events: Ukraine’s initiative on World Environmental Constitution, 19 June 2012

The Ukraine's International Institute-Association of Regional Ecological Problems - IIAREP (lead organizer), The Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, The University of Vermont and the All-Ukrainian Ecological League are organizing a Rio +20 side event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To break through to a sustainable future, scientists from post-Chernobyl Ukraine, supported by their American, British and Belgian colleagues urge development of the World Environmental Constitution (WEC).

The WEC is principally a new concept that will define the legal status of a human being not only as a citizen of a state, but also as a citizen of the planet with basic environmental rights, privileges and responsibilities. It is expected that it will close gaps in the international legislative regulation and will represent a comprehensive international environmental policy in a concentrated form.

Yuriy Tunytsya, Executive Director of IIAREP, will be the main speaker at the event. Other discussants include experts in international environmental policy and law from the academic and NGO sectors: Anatoliy Tolstouhov (All-Ukrainian Ecological League), Ihor Soloviy (Institute of Ecological Economics, Ukrainian National Forestry University),  Svyatoslav Kraevskyy (IIAREP); Joshua Farley (Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, UVM), and Brian Czech (Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy – CASSE).

Further information about the event: here
More on the World Environmental Constitution and World Environmental Organization: here
More on Ukraine’s contribution to the concept of greening of education: here

Rio+20 Side Events: Meeting/Workshop on Economic Degrowth for Sustainability and Equity, 18 June 2012 (TBC)

Following the initiative of the Peoples' Summit and all entities engaged on breaking with the hegemonic discourse that sets up the Green Economy under the RIO +20, the Brazilian Degrowth Group, propose the organization of a meeting/workshop on “Economic Degrowth for Sustainability and Equity”.

Further information and latest information about the exact date of the event: here

3rd International Conference on Sustainability Transitions “Sustainable Transitions: Navigating Theories and Challenging Realities”, 29-31 August 2012, Copenhagen, Denmark

Further information:

3rd International Conference on Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity, 19-23 September 2012, Venice, Italy

The conference offers an opportunity for people to meet in a different environment, and to find points of agreement and convergence between each other. This should help them to focus their own efforts while keeping in mind the complex nature of the de-growth movement as a whole. People with different areas of interest and levels of experience can come together and combine their knowledge. This includes research (universities, study groups, lines of research), experimentation (good practices, permaculture, networks of economic solidarity), communication (activists, filmmakers, journalists and other media figures), and artistic expression (actors, musicians, writers and poets).

Confirmed speakers include: Serge Latouche, Joan Martinez Alier, Giorgos Kallis, Francois Schneider, Arturo Escobar, Tim Jackson and others.

Deadline for abstract submission: Extended to 15th of June, 2012

Further information:

Workshop on Collective Agency & Institutions, Sustainability, and the Capability Approach, 27-28 September 2012, UFZ, Leipzig, Germany

In terms of space and time, sustainable development (SD) requires much more responsibility than an individual can cope with: it stretches to the global level and well into the future. An individual can try to comply with rules of SD, but it cannot alone achieve the goal of sustainability. The capability approach (CA) focuses on the individual and is not fit to explain collective agency. Yet, it acknowledges the influence of social affiliation, of groups and social norms on individual identity and individual goals. As a theory of justice the CA holds on to ethical individualism, i.e. the CA views individuals – and only individuals – as the units of moral concern. Thus, the CA demands that SD should not hold for the generations on average, but for each single individual if it is to be judged just. The aim of the workshop is to explore the role of collective agency & institutions both for SD and in the theoretical framework of the CA.

Deadline for submission: June 15
Deadline for registration: July 15
Further information: here

Growth in Transition Conference, October 8-10 2012, Vienna

Further information: here


6. Job openings:

Open position: Doctoral student in environmental risk governance, Environmental Policy Research Group, University of Helsinki

The Environmental Policy Research Group (EPRG) of the University of Helsinki is recruiting a doctoral student in the field of environmental risk governance. The initial contract is for 2 years, including a 6 month trial period. The expected starting date is negotiable but should be between 1 September 2012 - 1 January 2013. During 2013-14 the researcher will be conducting research in the Risk Governance of Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage (RICCS) –project, funded by the Academy of Finland’s Research Programme on Climate Change (FICCA).

The candidate is expected to hold a Master’s degree in one of the following or closely related fields: interdisciplinary environmental studies, environmental social science, environmental psychology, cognitive science, or ecological economics. She/he is expected to apply for a doctoral student position in the fall of 2012 in one of the following faculties of the University of Helsinki: Social Sciences, Biological and Environmental Sciences, or Agriculture and Forestry. The researcher will be a member of the EPRG, a group of 2 senior researchers, 2 post-doctoral researchers and 3 doctoral researchers focusing on the socio-cognitive aspects of sustainability assessment, risk governance and environmental policy (

The salary follows the Finnish universities’ YPJ salary scale (EUR 2231-2790, depending on experience and performance). Applications should include a max 2-page statement of research interests (in English), curriculum vitae and list of publications, and transcripts of university degree with course grades.

Applications should be sent by email to by 31 July 2012. For more information, please contact Janne I. Hukkinen, professor of environmental policy,, +358 50 367 1375 (


7. Students:

New ESEE student representative

Since late 2011, the ESEE board has a new student representative, Jasper Kenter. Jasper is a PhD student at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland), researching deliberative approaches to valuing the environment, with case studies in Scotland and the Solomon Islands. Jasper is also working at the University of St Andrews where he is looking at the (obstacles to) uptake of nature valuation evidence in decision-making, and he is project manager for the UK National Ecosystem Assessment Plural, Shared and Cultural Values working group.

If you want to raise any student issues, want to contribute to or have ideas for ESEE student activities, contact Jasper at

New email list and discussion group for ESEE students

To ease communication between student and early career ESEE members, we have set up an email list and LinkedIn discussion group. Posting on either is open to all subscribers. The email list is particularly meant for sharing events and announcement that may be useful to other ESEE members. The LinkedIn group is particularly useful for discussions and requests – e.g. you may be looking for useful paper references, you may be looking for help or feedback in preparing teaching materials, you want someone to informally review a paper, you may be looking for funding sources etcetera.

For links to both go to

Launch of Doctoral School in Social Ecology, Vienna

The Institute of Social Ecology is reorganizing its doctoral program. The new Doctoral School Social Ecology (DSSE) has been launched on March 21st. The DSSE is a 3-year doctoral program and offers cutting edge research and excellent supervision in an interdisciplinary environment. Dissertation projects are complemented by a variety of courses and seminars which deepen the understanding of society-nature relations and facilitate interdisciplinary communication among students and faculty. Regular courses by renowned international scholars add to the teaching portfolio.

DSSE strongly encourages self-organization among doctoral students. SEC provides infrastructure and resources for a self-organized doctoral colloquium to facilitate communication and scholarly exchange among doctoral students. DSSE-members also have access to resources for inviting guests and to participate in international scientific conferences. Doctoral students in Social Ecology acquire experience in socio-ecological theories, concepts and methods, preparing them for international professional careers inside and outside academia. The DSSE is open to all students currently enrolled in the Doctoral Programme in Social Ecology and welcomes new applicants.

Further information:

Scottish marine research visiting fellowship scheme

The objective of the Visiting Fellowship Scheme is to stimulate and enhance MASTS-related research, by inviting non-UK Scientists to spend up to a maximum of six months at one (or more) MASTS (Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland) institutions. Fellows can be at any stage in their careers, so both enterprising young postdoctoral researchers as well as established scientific leaders are welcome to apply. Proposals should originate in MASTS partner institutions, and multi-partner supported proposals are encouraged.

For more details and application forms contact Deadline 13.00h on Friday 13th July 2012.

IUCN Sustainable Use Specialist Group

The Sustainable Use Specialist Group (now called Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group) has now been re-created. It is a specialist group in IUCN spanning Species Survival Commission and the Commission on environmental, economic and social policy.

More information about the SG is available at: where you can also register to receive SULi's newsletter.

Stirling Environment Camp, 4-6 September 2012

The University of Stirling will host a three day Environment Camp on Environmental Valuation Methods for Ecosystem Services. The Environment Camp is organized as part of the University of Stirling’s Eco-Delivery project (, funded by the European Investment Bank. The Environment Camp will feature four keynote lectures and sixteen contributed presentations by postgraduate students and early career researchers. The program aims to provide participants the opportunity to share their work and to learn about the latest developments in the field of valuation methods in a relaxed workshop environment. Keynote speakers include Nick Hanley (Stirling), E.J. Milner-Gulland (Imperial College London), Laura Taylor (North Carolina State) and Brett Day (East Anglia).

For further information, please contact Dr Frans de Vries at

Conflicts over commons summer school series: fisheries, co-organized by Boğaziçi University and the University of Manchester, 27 August-2 September 2012, Istanbul, Turkey

We invite M.A. and Ph.D. level students to participate and contribute to the first event of the Conflicts over Commons Summer School Series, co-organized by Boğaziçi University and the University of Manchester. The summer school series aim to facilitate a dialogue between higher education, civil society and the industry on the dynamics of use and management of common-pool resources (CPR). Given the significance of CPR management in environmental protection and sustainable development, coupled with heightened interest especially in the diverse management practices for their sustainable use, investigating the dynamics of use and management of CPR’s is a particularly pressing need.

The series will center on a specific CPR each year, starting with the 2012 summer school on fisheries. Scholars from Boğaziçi University and the University of Manchester, as well as guest speakers, will be delivering the lectures. This year’s event will take place at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, between August 27th-September 2nd, 2012, with support from British Council Turkey and Boğaziçi University. The summer school will include theoretical and empirical debates on CPR’s in general and fisheries in particular. We invite interested M.A. and PhD students to apply by June 22nd, 2012. Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae (with the names of two references) and a cover letter of no more than 1,000 words, which should summarize their research interests, explain why they are interested to attend the summer school, and describe how the summer school would contribute to their work. Application material should be sent in electronic form to 30 students will be admitted to attend the event. The event does not require any registration fee, and accommodation and workshop meals will be provided to the admitted participants.

Further information:

Cal for abstracts: 2nd Vienna Workshop on Sustainable Development for Doctoral Students, 15-16 November 2012, Vienna, Austria

The doctoral school of the Institute of Social Ecology (SEC) will host the 2nd Vienna Workshop on Sustainable Development for Doctoral Students. This is a unique, informal event for doctoral students and young researchers working in Vienna to present their work to a dedicated audience in an effort to start an interdisciplinary dialogue on sustainability issues and create synergies.

The workshop will be held on the 15th and 16th of November 2012. Applicants are required to submit a short abstract (approx. 400 words) outlining their research until September 30, 2012. Students will be notified about the acceptance of their submission by the end of October 2012 the latest. Please send your applications until September 30, 2012 per e-mail to Panos Petridis:

Further information:

Multiple Methods in Interdisciplinary Environmental Research - Ecological Economics Summer Institutes

Interdisciplinary environmental research is increasingly characterized by a major methodological shift. It is becoming evident that no single method can overcome the challenges of interdisciplinary research at the interface between social and natural sciences. The call for the use of multiple methods in interdisciplinary research is an increasingly important methodological debate in communities such as ecological economics, political ecology and resilience alliance. In particular, the growing attention on collaborative research requires multi-method application to overcome theoretical but also practical challenges. Building on the successful ESEE summer school series THEMES, the ESEE Summer Institutes introduce innovative theoretical and practical ideas of multi-method application and collaborative research to the education of doctoral and post-doctoral interdisciplinary environmental researchers.

ESEE Summer Institutes are an open, bottom-up series of educational Institutes (not necessarily summer) where each host provides training in the area of their expertise.  Summer Institutes will operate as a self-managed organization, integrated in national educational systems and securing most of their operational resources independently.  At the same time, membership in the network of Summer Institutes brings added value to individual Institutes. Ideally the separate events will evolve into a long term ESEE tradition. As such, the ESEE Summer Institutes can become a vehicle for long term knowledge transfer in ecological economics and a platform for exchange of educational experiences within the network (teaching materials, methods and exchange of students).

In case of interest, please contact chair of educational committee Janne Hukkinen ( or vice president Tatiana Kluvánková-Oravská (

For an outline of past and future Institutes visit:

Student Research Exposé - Miguel Brandão

-Tell me about yourself.
I am originally from Lisbon, Portugal, but I have lived abroad for half of my life. I have studied or done research in Spain, Italy, England, the Netherlands, Norway, East-Timor, Wales, Denmark and Angola. Living in these different places was more by coincidence than planning. I consider myself fortunate to have been enriched by this broad array of experiences (despite a considerable carbon footprint!), which has made me want to dedicate myself towards a sustainable global society.
I recently completed my PhD in Environmental Strategy, which was based at the University of Surrey (UK). I have a broad background: My undergraduate degree was in ecological agriculture and my masters in development and environmental economics. Now I have started working at the International Life Cycle Academy in Barcelona. Prior to this I worked at the European Commissions' Joint Research Centre looking at land-use systems and biofuels/biomass.
In my free time, I enjoy taking the 5-minute walk from my home to the beach and having a spin on my Vespa.

-What is your research about?
My research has focussed mainly on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). LCA is a tool for assessing the sustainability impacts of products and services along their whole life cycles. This holistic view is achieved by considering all stages of product chains: e.g. resource extraction, production, transport, use and recycling/disposal (i.e. from cradle to grave). As a result, this approach avoids the shifting of burdens between different life cycle stages, different areas of protection (e.g. sustainability pillars), and between different regions of the world.
My PhD thesis was titled Food, Feed, Fuel, Timber or Carbon Sink? Towards sustainable land-use systems: a consequential life cycle approach. It consisted in a global sustainability impact assessment of competing land-use strategies for a variety of functions in the UK, whereby the potential for land use to mitigate climate change, provide ecosystem services and support biodiversity, while providing economic value added, associated with the different strategies was estimated and contrasted. I have recently won the SETAC Europe LCA Young Scientist Award in recognition of my thesis’ contributions to the LCA field.
-If you were in charge of the world economy for one day, tell me one thing that you would do and why?
One day would not be enough to guide society towards a new paradigm of harmony within our species and between us and other species! However, I would start by trying to shape people's behaviour towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns with the right incentives. I would use a combination of taxes and subsidies because that is what people seem to respond to the most. But I would also introduce new laws and institutions to halt environmental degradation and promote social harmony. For example, I would try to secure the maintenance of ecosystem processes, continuously decreasing levels of deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, and I would phase out nuclear activities and military spending, while ensuring a more equitable distribution of the world’s resources.
-Tell me one thing that you think many ecological economists don’t realise, but should?
I think that the transdisciplinary nature of ecological economics means that it should be as inclusive as possible, but not at the expense of conceptual or methodological inconsistencies. While its strength lies mainly in the methodological pluralism it embraces, there are still many ideas worthy of consideration from neoclassical economics that are currently dismissed outright by ecological economists. For example, the importance of (regulated) markets, trade, economic growth and technology in generally supporting sustainable development (for example, their role in poverty alleviation and in resource-use efficiency) ought not be underestimated. I think we shouldn’t risk excluding useful ideas that echo in the real world nor ostracizing other professionals dedicated to sustainable development. In my opinion, the main challenge for Ecological Economics is achieving methodological pluralism while being internally consistent and pragmatic. The world needs it!

Miguel can be contacted at

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