1. Editorial

  • Advancing sustainability in a challenging time

2. News from ESEE and its members

  • ESEE 2011 - Advancing Ecological Economics: Theory and Practice
  • Call for future ESEE Conference Organisers
  • Local Food Systems in Europe

3. Other news

  • Proposal for a special issue of the "International Journal of Sustainable Society"
  • ADVANCES IN ENERGY STUDIES 2010 - Interactive website

4. Hot topic

  • Joint statement asking for a new economy

5. Events

  • International BaCaTeC Summer School 2010
  • Innovation and Sustainability Transitions in Asia
  • The Sixth International Symposium on Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases (NCGG-6) Science, Policy and Integration
  • International Symposium "Living with Biodiversity: People, Knowledge, Politics"
  • Ecosystem Services Training Day
  • 2nd International conference "Sustainable Development and Environmental Safety in Economic Transformations"
  • 6th European Forum Let's Liberate Diversity!
  • Planet Under Pressure: new knowledge towards solutions
  • Future of Cities 2010 - ICLEI World Congress

6. Job openings

  • New Position at the CSIRO: Environmental Input-Output Analyst
  • OECD job opening: Head of Division
  • Senior Researcher

7. Publications

  • Stakeholder attitudes to multifunctional forests in Europe
  • Challenges of Sustainable Development in Poland

1. Editorial:

Advancing sustainability in a challenging time
by Klaus Kubeczko

The ISEE conference held in Oldenburg was very successful. The theme was: "Advancing sustainability in a time of crisis", which was a great opportunity to reflect on the role and perceptions of ecological economists around the globe and to compare it with the European situation. Particularly when it comes to the meaning of crisis, I learned a lot.

Some observations:

1. Conference participants had diverse perceptions what crisis means, depending on their origin from rich countries, the BRICs or poor countries. The financial crisis and the economic crisis were topics mainly brought up by Europeans and North-Americans. Participants from other parts of the world, to some extent, even see positive effects for their countries.

  • We – Europeans – tend to fall into a depressive mood of hopeless decline of whatever, rather than motivating ourselves in looking for the opportunities in times of change.

2. We talked too much about hypothetical, idealized futures, our pre-analytical views and our post-normal science perspective. At the same time we lacked reports on good practices to actively shape the future in the light of pressing issues such as climate change and scarcity of resources.

  • We – Ecological Economists – don't lack knowledge to explain why crises happen but, unfortunately, we offer little innovative irritations to trigger change in a complex world and know-how to shape the future.

3. Transdisciplinary research was mainly discussed as a way of doing research for the sake of publication output rather than as the missing link between science and policy in participatory, deliberative governance mode that takes into account the complexity of policy making and consequently of societal change.

  • One might think that we – the ESEE community – lack a vision of forward looking attitude and, to some extent, even the willingness to shape the future.

Therefore, it might be our crisis – the times of crisis of ESEE – not to get more actively involved in dealing with major ecological, economic and social challenges and instead keep on reflecting on crises.

Following the Lisbon Strategy, the new strategy of the European Commission, Europe 2020, is taking up climate, energy, employment as core topics. Now, to let this paper become more than rhetoric, we – Ecological Economists – should become more active in Joint Programming, in Foresight activities and many other research related activities in the European Research Area to contribute with our well elaborated knowledge.


2. News from ESEE and its members:

ESEE 2011 - Advancing Ecological Economics: Theory and Practice

The 9th International Conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics will be held on June 14-17, 2011 in Bogaziçi University, Istanbul

Ecological economics explicitly recognises the interconnections and interdependence of the economic, biophysical and social worlds and focuses on the human economy both as a social system and a system embodied in the bio-physical universe. Reflecting on the identity of ecological economics, the 9th conference of the European Society will investigate how ecological economics can broaden the available range of methods and tools for policy support, and increase its relevance for the real-world problems.

In this regard, ESEE 2011 has two main objectives:

  1. To create a platform for discussion of theories, methodologies and practices already existing in the field and assess what has been achieved so far.
  2. To explore the full potential of ecological economics in dealing with policy issues, both in theory and in practice.

The Call For Papers can be downloaded here.

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 Ljubljana, and Begüm Özkaynak and her team are currently busy organising next year's meeting in Istanbul.

For 2013 and 2015 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 November 2010 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 2013 is expected to be taken by June 2011. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Local Food Systems in Europe

The FP7 project 'FAAN – Facilitating Alternative Agro-Food Networks: Stakeholder Perspectives on Research Needs' ran from February 2008 to March 2010 to investigate Local Food Systems in five European countries: Austria, England, France, Hungary, and Poland. The research team comprised academic institutions and civil society organisations, and the research process engaged many stakeholder groups. The project’s starting point was a raising concern about the negative effects of the conventional food system, like issues related to environmental sustainability, health or social justice. Local Food Systems (LFS) constitute an alternative, which appear in different forms, and which can differ from the conventional system in several aspects. The FAAN team investigated such alternative initiatives, in order to identify in which way they are different, how they developed, and why they survive successfully. The main objective was to analyse how current policies facilitate or impede the development of Local Food Systems in order to elaborate recommendations how policies could better support such initiatives.

The FAAN booklet (DOWNLOAD document) summarises the main findings, which are based on qualitative empirical research of 10 case studies, two in each of the partner countries, and it includes recommendations about policy changes that would be necessary to strengthen Local Food Systems in the future. These changes include: support for setting up cooperative networks and infrastructure; greater knowledge exchange; more local sourcing in public procurement; more appropriate funding; and the more flexible adaptation of over-burdensome legal regulations (e.g. distinguishing rules for products for different markets); and ensuring that the EU Leader programme maintains its bottom-up character, along with a territorial approach linking urban consumers with rural producers. By recognising and valuing LFS and for their societal opportunities and benefits, authorities could take responsibility for improving and linking relevant policies.

More detailed information about the FAAN project can be found on the project webpage:


3. Other news:

Proposal for a special issue of the "International Journal of Sustainable Society"

"The contribution of protected areas to sustainability"

Aim of the special issue:
The aim of the special issue is to highlight the significance and importance of protected areas for sustainability, not only in an ecological sense but taking into account the economic and social dimension of sustainable development. This includes the economic impacts of protected areas (e.g. provision of vital ecosystem services for local communities), as well as social implications (e.g. participation of stakeholders in establishment and management of protected areas). The special volume aims to present the most recent developments in the scientific debate, in the form of empirical and policy oriented papers on which general conclusions for the role of protected areas for sustainability, as well as for the management of protected areas, can be drawn.

For more information please click here.

ADVANCES IN ENERGY STUDIES 2010 - Interactive website

In occasion of the ADVANCES IN ENERGY STUDIES 2010 workshop the organisers are embarking on an innovative experiment: an interactive website

In this experiment, the scientific information given by a selected group of experts is evaluated by an extended community of peers - yes, this includes YOU!

The experts do not claim to provide "facts" but rather they play the role of "story-tellers" providing their vision about specific points. The expert stories cover three main issues:
  1. Do we have a plan B to run our economy without fossil energy?
  2. Even if there were a plan B, how long would it take us to overcome the existing addiction to oil?
  3. How would a society without oil look like and what changes would be required in our daily routines?

They hereby invite you to join their interactive website and to have your say.

You will need to register in order to vote the stories, leave comments, and upload videos. On October 22, during the follow-up event of the AES2010 workshop, all participants of the AES2010 workshop are invited to address the received comments in a public discussion day. The event is expected to be broadcasted in streaming by Catalan TV.


4. Hot topic:

Joint statement asking for a new economy
by Marina Fischer-Kowalski

Below, I present you an abbreviated version of a statement signed by a number of well known members of our community. (For the full version, see website below). This statement reflects the discussions that took place during the workshop "The challenge of sustainability: towards Rio+20", organized by the United Nations Division for Sustainable Development on May 8-10, 2010 in New York. The statement was prepared by Stephen Marglin and endorsed by the following other participants (in alphabetical order) : Frank Ackerman, Lois Barber, Peter Brown, Robert Costanza, Paul Ekins, Marina Fischer-Kowalski, Maja Göpel, Tim Jackson, Ashok Khosla, Nebosja Nakicenovic, Paul Raskin, William Rees, Wolfgang Sachs, Juliet Schor, Gus Speth, Peter Victor, Ernst von Weiszäcker.


1. The intertwined problems of development, equity, and ecology require a new economy. In 1992, officials from 172 nations met at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and made a set of commitments to address global equity and development within the ecological limits of the planet. In 2012, "Rio + 20" will re-assemble these nations. Its agenda must begin from a recognition that none of the commitments has been fulfilled. Indeed, since 1992 this nexus of problems has worsened.

2. We are living in a danger zone. Since the dawn of industrialization, economic growth has been associated with ever greater use of non-renewable materials and energy, as well as the degradation of renewable resources beyond their regenerative capacities. This has eroded the ecosystems upon energy.

3. A key implication of prudence, responsibility, and equity is that the claims of the rich must be subordinated to those of the poor and to the well-being of Earth's life support systems. If growth is limited on a planetary scale by the inadequacy of sources of energy or raw materials or the inadequacy of sinks for carbon, nitrogen, and other pollutants, the commitment to social justice which the economy depends and will ultimately lead to destructive transformation or even collapse.

4. Rio + 20 must recognize that a dramatically different way of how we live, work, and understand the world—as distinct from an energy techno-fix-may be required. A necessary condition for avoiding potentially catastrophic consequences of climate change is to "decarbonize" the economy, that is, to reduce energy use, neutralize carbon emissions from fossil fuels, and shift to renewable sources of clean embodied in the Rio and other UN Principles requires that the claims of the poor, chiefly residing in the South, take precedence over the claims of the rich, chiefly residing in the North.

5. Planning for a "post-growth" economy in the North will require significant innovation in technologies, economic practice, and social institutions. In principle the growth of output could be maintained at historical rates while reducing the share of consumption in GDP, and transferring a rising level of income to the South through foreign investment and aid. An "optimal growth trajectory" which takes account of the distribution of consumption across regions as well as across time would point us in this direction.

6. A new economy requires a new economics. There is a growing recognition within economics of the limits of the invisible hand. Mainstream economists have begun to question the role of consumption in enhancing well-being above a certain level of per capita income. Even the identification of well-being with the utilitarian conception based on a calculus of pleasure and pain is being challenged.

7. We need to rediscover relationships of respect and reciprocity with each other and the Earth. The time for action is now. The logic of our situation suggests that some form of global polity may emerge in the coming decades-good or bad, beautiful or ugly.

We have a choice between a blessing and a curse: either we live in harmony with each other and the planet, or we destroy each other and-perhaps-life on the planet. Let us choose life.

See full statement under:


5. Events:

International BaCaTeC Summer School 2010

Assessing and Communicating the Loss of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
-> with Remote Sensing, Web Mapping, regional Planning Tools and Life Cycle Assessment for Better Decision Support

Global change of land use and land cover has severe impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems and the services they provide. The summer school's goal is to learn about innovations in information technologies to generate information on changes of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The participating students will learn about the assessment of biodiversity loss and ecosystem services with remote sensing and how decision support tools communicate this information to decision-makers.

The summer school takes place from 11th to 15th October 2010 in Thurnau, Germany.

Summer school homepage:
Invitation and programme:
For more information contact

Innovation and Sustainability Transitions in Asia

The conference will be held 9-11 January 2011 at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This conference will focus on the nature and role of sustainable system innovation in transforming Asian development pathways in field such as energy, mobility, sanitation, nutrition and housing in urban and rural areas. The conference will take stock of what has been learned in the International Human Dimensions Programme Core Project on Industrial Transformation (IHDP-IT) over the last ten years, as well as move forward a new research agenda supported by the APN (Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research) and the Research Council of Norway. We welcome an international network of researchers, practitioners, policy makers and other actors who are interested in innovation and in exploring how it influences alternative, more sustainable development pathways.

Call for Papers
Conference website

The Sixth International Symposium on Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases (NCGG-6) Science, Policy and Integration

From November 2 to November 4, 2011, the Air Quality and Climate Change Section of the Netherlands Association of Environmental Professionals (VVM) organizes the Sixth International Symposium on science, implementation and policy aspects of non-CO2 greenhouse gases (NCGG-6). NCGG-6 will be held in Amsterdam in The Netherlands and will address both the role of non-CO2 greenhouse gases and aerosol in human-induced climate forcing and options for reduction in industry and society. The symposium aims to remove barriers between policy, industry and science and fosters the dialogue between scientists, engineers and officials in industry and government working in this field from different perspectives. This multidisciplinary approach is expected to yield realistic and achievable mitigation solutions that significantly lower NCGG emissions.

For more information click here.

International Symposium "Living with Biodiversity: People, Knowledge, Politics"

This conference will be held from 22-23 September 2010 at The Dutch Natural History Museum, Leiden, The Netherlands. It brings together international academics on the topic "living with biodiversity". By focusing on interactions between knowledge, people, politics and biodiversity, this symposium hopes to generate new ways of understanding public involvement with nature and biodiversity and new perspectives on how to live with biodiversity.

For more informations click here.

Ecosystem Services Training Day

The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, in association with Conservation International, is glad to launch the Ecosystem Services Training Day. The meeting has been organised with the occasion of the Twelfth International BIOECON Conference "From the Wealth of Nations to the Wealth of Nature: Rethinking Economic Growth", and will be held at the Centro Culturale Don Orione Artigianelli, Venice, Italy, on September 29th, 2010.

The Ecosystem Services Training Day is targeted to all BIOECON participants, and is required of participants from developing countries whose participation has been sponsored through scholarships by the United Nations Environment Programme.

Themes to be address include ‘Valuation of Ecosystem Services, Payment for Ecosystem Services, Climate Mitigation and Adaptation, REDD+, Decision-Making Tools’ followed by the presentation of case studies. Instructors refer to both scientists and practitioners from different organizations.

Full programme is here available.

2nd International conference "Sustainable Development and Environmental Safety in Economic Transformations"

On 23-24 of September 2010 the Scientific Research Institute of Sustainable Development and Use of Natural Resources, the Council for Productive Forces Studying National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the Vadym Hetman Crimean Economic Institute, Kyiv National Economic University hold the 2nd International conference "Sustainable Development and Environmental Safety in Economic Transformations" in Bakchysarai, Crimea. The conference is organized on Prof. Ievgen Khlobystov's and Dr. Yevgeniy Kakutych's initiative. More than 160 reports on problems of sustainable development, environmental and economic safety, green and socially-responsible business and environmental policy will be represented and discussed.

6th European Forum Let’s Liberate Diversity!

The Let's Liberate Diversity! forums, hosted in rotation by various European countries, are annual gatherings of farmers and associations working on agricultural biodiversity in Europe. The forum's next edition will be held in Hungary in 2011 during the Hungarian presidency of the European Union. Its central theme will be the question of "farmers' rights" related to the conservation, sustainable use and development of crop biodiversity, recognized by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

For more information click here.

Planet Under Pressure: new knowledge towards solutions

The conference will be held from 26th to 29th of March 2012 in London. It will discuss solutions, at all scales, based on the latest scientific evidence. It will provide scientific leadership for the Earth Summit, Rio +20, also in 2012.

Guiding the direction for the conference is the International Council for Science's five grand challenges for global sustainability research: observations, forecasting, responses, thresholds and innovation. The conference will also support international assessment processes, for example the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the new biodiversity assessment, plus the Millennium Development Goals.

The London conference will act as a platform to strengthen and enlarge the global-change research community and mark a move to a new vision for global-change research. It will bring together leading social and natural scientists and young scholars, to create a new understanding for tackling global sustainability challenges. Working across scales will be a strong theme for the conference. The event will include strong policy interaction. The programme will be designed to attract policymakers, industry, health specialists, and many others, particularly from the developing world. Scientists will be encouraged to discuss options and solutions.

More information can be found at

Future of Cities 2010 - ICLEI World Congress

Natural resources and urban infrastructures will not be able to sustain increasing urban populations unless rapidly-growing cities of the 21st Century adjust their relationship with the natural environment.

The Future of Cities congress will address four key themes that the cities of the future need to address:

Eco-efficiency - Resilience - Green economy - Happiness

ICLEI's Future of Cities congress on 5-7 October 2010 in Incheon, Korea, will build momentum behind this shift.


6. Job openings:

New Position at the CSIRO: Environmental Input-Output Analyst

CSIRO seeks to appoint a motivated scientist with a social science background and demonstrated experience in environmental input-output economics applied to questions of sustainable use of natural resources. The position will be based within the research program’s Social Systems, Institutions and Governance Research Group in Canberra. A familiarity and interest in lifestyles, consumption, resource use and sustainability research will be essential. The position will involve applying input-output analysis – including hybrid and physical input-output analysis – to applied research questions to inform policies that may support sustainable consumption and production. The role includes conducting empirical research and data analysis and theoretical development, publishing and communicating results to the scientific and policy community. A successful applicant will be expected to work independently and to contribute to an interdisciplinary research team for sustainable consumption and production.

Location: Canberra
Salary: $83K - $90K plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Ref No: 2010/453

For further information about CSIRO please visit or e-mail Dr Heinz Schandl

OECD job opening: Head of Division

The Environment Directorate (ENV) is looking for a Head of Division to manage the Climate Change, Biodiversity and Development Division.

Under the supervision of the Director of the Environment Directorate, the successful candidate will exercise responsibility for the timely delivery of the Programme of Work and Budget of the Environmental Policy Committee as it pertains to work in the area of mitigation and adaptation of climate change, natural resources management (e.g. biodiversity) and co-management of joint work with the Development Assistance Committee on development and environment linkages. S/he will also be required to lead a very strong and diverse analytical team and to have strong programme and staff management skills.

Reference: 3702
Grade/Level: A5
Please apply before midnight, Central European Time (CET), on: 21/09/2010

Senior Researcher

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ in Leipzig, Germany is searching for an experienced researcher in the field of international water economics and politics. The position is available for three years, with the possibility to obtain a tenure track, and starting as soon as possible. The successful candidate will find an inspiring and interdisciplinary working environment. She/he will get the opportunity to build up a research group, to lead research projects and to get involved in high-ranking international reseach networks.

More informations can be found here.


7. Publications:

Stakeholder attitudes to multifunctional forests in Europe
by Nijnik M., Nijnik A., Lundin L., Staszewski T., Postolache C.

is now published in the international journal Forests, Trees and Livelihoods 19(4). The paper explores the major opportunities arising from, and challenges relating to, the development of multi-functional forestry in Europe and is based on the analysis of existing attitudes of forestry specialists from Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Poland and the UK.

Challenges of Sustainable Development in Poland
edited by Jakub Kronenberg and Tomasz Bergier

This book discusses sustainable development from the perspective of a transition economy that has recently joined the European Union. This book is at once a guide for sustainable development professionals and a handbook for those interested in further studies on sustainability. It not only explains and exemplifies the issues of sustainability discussed herein, but it also offers a resource for practitioners in business, local authorities, non-governmental organisations and indeed individuals, wanting to undertake activities directed towards sustainable development. Part II on business is most closely related to industrial ecology.

The book can be downloaded free of charge at