1. Editorial

  • Editorial, by Irene Ring

2. News from ESEE and its members

  • Results of the ESEE Board elections held in November 2014
  • ESEE Committees update

3. Hot Topics

  • Struggles with the CBA method regarding the evaluation of measures in large river basins, by Lenka Slavíková & Ondřej Vojáček 

4. Events and Jobs

  • Young researchers workshop on URBAN RESILIENCE
  • ENVECON 2014
  • Fulltime Assistant Professor OR 2 Teaching/Research Associate posts
  • Full Professorship (W3) for Sustainability Governance 
  • Call for Proposals to peer reviewed book on Grounded innovation

5. Students and early career

  • The Oxford Winter School in Ecological Economics is to take place 4-8 January, 2015 at St Hilda's College, Oxford
  • International Summer School ESEE 2015, 28-30 June
  • PhD vacancy: Community based Marine Protected Areas, Ecosystem Services, and Environmental Change; Scottish Association for Marine Science & University of Edinburgh
  • PhD Student Needed University of Southampton
  • Postdoc free access program Elsevier
  • Courses - The Scottish Association for Marine Science

1. Editorial



by Irene Ring

Dear members and friends of ESEE,

The year is close to its end and it has been an active time for us. Let me just mention two initiatives of the past year:

The ESEE Board, under the lead of the Fund Raising and Membership committee, has made an effort to intensify contacts with its members via the ESEE country contacts. The country contact network has been updated in 2014 and we invited those participating in the ISEE 2014 Conference in Iceland to meet the ESEE Board for a first exchange of ideas. We could start in a small round with Inge Røpke from Denmark, Pinar Ertor from Turkey and Tommaso Luzzati from Italy. We do plan a second meeting with the ESEE country contacts just before ESEE 2015 in Leeds, and hope for a much wider participation, as we expect more country contacts to participate in our own conference. So country contacts, keep your calendars free just before the opening of ESEE 2015 in Leeds!

Based on a decision of the ESEE Board in 2013, we now regularly support Ecological Economics Training Institutes based on a yearly competitive call. The call and selection procedures are managed by our Education committee. For 2014, we had received four applications and the Board decided to financially support two events: the NachDenkstatt 2014 at the University of Oldenburg, Germany, and an International Summer School on Urban Resilience and Spatial Planning at the Slovak University of Technology, Slovakia. A short report from the Urban Resilience event is included in this newsletter. 

Looking forward, I would like to cordially welcome our just newly or re-elected ESEE board members: Nina Eisenmenger, Tim Foxon, György Pataki, Olivier Petit, Jasper Kenter, Felix Rauschmayer and Nuno Videira. With Ellen Stenslie we also have a new student representative. Congratulations to you all and looking forward to working with you for the Society! Noteworthy to say that this time we even had four candidates for the position of the student representative, so competition was quite high! Don’t be too sad, if you did not make it this time – the next election to the ESEE Board will be in autumn 2015, and we will be looking for another student representative. On this occasion, many thanks to Inge Røpke, Tommaso Luzzati and Leslie Carnoye for their support as members of the election committee, as well as to Begüm Özkaynak and Cem Aydin for managing the elections. For the first time we tried a new and more professional election tool and it went really well!

Last but not least, I wish you and your families a peaceful and relaxing Christmas holiday and a Happy New Year!


2. News from ESEE and its members

Results of the ESEE Board elections held in November 2014
As ESEE, we have been holding two separate elections in November-December 2014, one for ordinary Board Members and one for Student Representative. The aim was to fill the positions of 7 Board Members and one Student Representative for the period 2015-2017.
In the board member elections, we had 7 candidates standing for the 7 positions open in the board. 90 members of the 316 ESEE members in 2014 voted, so that the 20% quorum was fulfilled. 
Candidates and results are as follows:
1. Timothy Foxon | Board Member | 81%
2. Nina Eisenmenger | Board Member | 78%
3. Felix Rauschmayer | Board Member | 77%
4. Jasper Kenter | Board Member | 73%
5. György Pataki | Board Member | 72%
6. Olivier Petit | Board Member | 71%
7. Nuno Videira | Board Member| 67%
According to these results, Nina Eisenmenger, Timothy Foxon, Olivier Petit, and Nuno Videira have been reelected and Jasper Kenter, György Pataki, and Felix Rauschmayer are our new board members. In total, ESEE board has now 13 ordinary members.
In the student representative elections, we had 4 candidates standing for one position available. The 20% quorum was only fulfilled when the deadline for voting was extended for one week. In total, 43 members of the 206 ESEE student members (paying and non-paying) voted. 
Candidates and results are as follows:
1. Ellen Stenslie | Student Representative | 44%
2. Vivien Lunda | Student Representative | 33%
3. Harald Wieser | Student Representative | 16%
4. Nils Droste | Student Representative | 7%
According to these results, Ellen Stenslie has been elected as the new student representative. In total, the ESEE board has now 2 student representatives: Leslie Carnoye and Ellen Stenslie.
We would like to cordially thank all ESEE members who took part in the elections and congratulate all candidates who have been elected.
On behalf of the election committee,
Begum Ozkaynak, ESEE Secretary

ESEE Committees update

Work in the ESEE Board is largely organised in sub-committees. During the last ESEE Board meeting in August 2014 in Reykjavik, we partly reassigned committee chairs. Although we were highly satisfied with the work done by Tatiana Kluvánková-Oravská (Education) and Erik Gómez-Baggethun (Fund raising and membership), we wanted to be in line with the ESEE Constitution that does not foresee ESEE Vice-Presidents to act at the same time as committee chairs. 

Committee chairs are the relevant persons to contact in case of your questions, comments or inputs, relating to the agenda topics below. They are as follows:

Education committee now chaired by Juha Hiedanpää (agenda: summer schools, ESEE training institutes, student prices, educational courses and programmes in Ecological Economics)

Fund raising and membership committee now chaired by Nuno Videira (agenda: country contacts, membership, fund raising)

Conference and meetings committee chaired by Olivier Petit (agenda: ESEE conference venues, planning and supervision; ESEE workshops and meetings; ESEE supported events)

Publications and publicity committee chaired by Lenka Slavíková (agenda: website, newsletter, relations with journals, marketing and PR)

All committee chairs welcome your suggestions and concerns, if any, so do not hesitate to write them. Relevant contact information is listed on the ESEE webpage in the governance section.


3. Hot Topic

Struggles with the CBA method regarding the evaluation of measures in large river basins

by Lenka Slavíková, ESEE Chair of Publications and Publicity Committee and Ondřej Vojáček, IEEP (Institute of Economic and Environmental Policy, University of Economics in Prague)

The Water Framework Directive (No. 2000/60/EC) introduced the comprehensive perspective of the river basin management and institutionalised numerous analytical tools of the socioeconomic research that have not been widely applied. Particularly, within the economic analysis, the evaluation of proposed measures to reach “good ecological status” of a water body is promoted. Such evaluation usually calls for the application of the standardized methods of environmental economics, such as the cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) and/or the cost-benefit analysis (CBA) that should be complemented with more qualitative institutional analysis and a stakeholder consultation process. 

The practical applicability of the CBA struggles with data availability and a large uncertainty of future impacts (especially regarding the calculation of benefits of the planned water quality improvement measures). We know that this is nothing new (all scientists struggle with data accessibility). Our intention, however, is to discuss the situation when uncertainty reaches such a level within an analysis that it may cause false results. Specifically, we ask how to use results of the CBA that shows that ecological targets set by the WFD appear to be socially inefficient (from the anthropocentric perspective), but gaining a more robust data to increase benefits is costly and complicated with complexity and uncertainty.

Our case study, which raised the above mentioned concerns, was developed within the EU 7FP project REFRESH. The case study was focused on the large river basin of the Orlik reservoir ( about 12 thousand km2 in total) situated in the Southern part of the Czech Republic. Since the key problem was the heavy euthrophication of the reservoir itself, the analysis must have comprised of the entire catchment. The goal to stop the euthrophication was identified as a 50% reduction of the annual phosphorus inflow. After careful mapping of phosphorus sources, more than 4,000 possible measures within municipalities on the agricultural land and in ponds were suggested, of which 1,610 were selected as the most effective within the CEA analysis (see detailed results of the case study here). 

Subsequently, the CBA analysis (up-graded into so-called disproportionality analysis within the REFRESH project) was undertaken to reveal if costs associated with the proposed measures can be justified with respect to expected benefits. Comparing costs of water quality improvement with benefits is the important step – e.g. in order to address the proportionality issue (see Art. 4 of the WFD). To gather benefits, however, was a tricky issue for numerous reasons:  

Firstly, due to time and financial constraints the REFRESH project recommended using benefit transfer techniques rather than primary data collections. Thus, mostly recreational benefits (captured in previous studies) entered the analysis. Many other anthropocentric benefits, such as positive impacts on human health, aesthetical benefits, etc., stayed behind. 

Secondly, when gathering benefits it was very difficult to address complexity within the large river basin – i.e. to capture benefits generated in other water bodies (not just the Orlik reservoir) resulting from their increased quality. For example, the entire catchment is rich in water and it contains many smaller lakes and ponds. The reduction of phosphorus releases that should occur throughout the whole river basin would reduce the euthrophication problem on lakes as well – so that people could use them for recreation as well (as they did in past). But as a result, lakes could then serve as substitutes for the recreation at the Orlik reservoir and lower recreational benefits there, etc. 

Thirdly, it was impossible to address other (ecocentric/ecosystem) values connected with the better shape of water related ecosystems. The question, however, is to what extent is the application of the CBA method complementary with non-anthropocentric values. 

As a result, the CBA showed that benefits derived from the phosphorus inflow reduction are too low in comparison to the large costs of achieving this reduction by numerous measures. In light of these results, the goal of reaching the “good ecological status” of the Orlik reservoir could be evaluated as economically inefficient. 

In light of the neoclassical methodology recommended and frequently applied by many authors, our analysis confirmed many of the methodological obstacles that are bounded with the application of the CBA. However, with respect to high uncertainty and complexity in the large river basin studied, we consider these obstacles to be so serious that we have doubts about the appropriateness of the CBA application. The problem we face here can be framed as: any number is better than no number. So far, regulators strongly prefer to undertake calculations, deliver numbers and to complement them with descriptions of other qualitative features. In our case, however, the precise calculation of all possible benefits seems to be enormously costly and still bounded with numerous assumptions. On the other hand, the excessive use of expert estimates or judgments could demonstrate the effort to justify the WFD requirements at any costs. 

What we could do, and maybe should do, is to ask about other non-economic basis on which the EU water policy can be justified and what other analytical tools we can use to better capture benefits of the water quality improvement.     


 4. Events and Jobs

Young researchers workshop on URBAN RESILIENCE

Acceleration of the spatial development has generated an increased probability of having to face negative effects of globalisation as well as EU integration. Recent economic and financial crisis highlighted this risk and created threats which were not acute some years ago. Fragile spatial and societal structures have been exposed to huge pressure originated either from international markets, unfavourable demographic prognosis, environmental hazards or other sources of risk. Urban resilience is the ability of cities and municipalities to absorb, cope and overcome these setbacks.

Spectra, Centre of Excellence in Bratislava, Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development in Dresden (IOeR) and European Society for Ecological Economics (ESEE) organized on 18th-19th September 2014 in Bratislava annual Spa-ce-net conference under the headline „Empirical Evidence of Urban Resilience in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe“. Young Researchers Workshop under the title „Urban Resilience and Spatial Planning – Ecologic and Economic Dimension“ (co-organized by European Society for Ecological Economics) was essential part of the event. The event has generated many valuable inputs in relevant fields, e.g. external shocks within the process of urban resilience,  case studies of urban resilience within the housing estates, brownfields regeneration as an instrument for improvement of urban resilience and territorial risk management. Sustainable land use management, revitalisation of mining regions, territorial cooperation and several case studies of various Central European countries were also in the spotlight. Intensive scientific discussion has yielded many valuable inputs for further research.

Matej Jaššo, Spectra, Centre of Excellence, STU Bratislava.


The Laboratory of Operations Research in the premises of the Department of Economics at the University of Thessaly and in the Framework of the research program Cooperation 2011 (11SYN-8-118) organized the 1st and 2nd PanHellenic Conferences on Environmental and Natural Resource Economics with emphasis to Climate Change. The 1st Conferences took place on the 26th and 27th March 2014 and the 2nd on the 31st October and 1st November 2014 in Volos Greece. The conferences aimed to present the basic topics in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics with emphasis to the appropriate policies necessary to be adopted in order to solve the problem of Climate Change in Greece and in the World. 

Both conferences ended up to more than 120 submissions and in each conference program there were 11 sessions with more than 50 papers presented in the announced topics each time ( All submissions in both conferences were peer reviewed and evaluated for their originality, relevance to conference task, and potential contribution to the solution of the problem at hand. 

Overall the conferences were quite successful with many academics, students and practitioners from all over Greece, and in some cases from other European Universities, to participate with enthusiasm and interesting papers. The lecture rooms were in full capacity in all almost all the sessions of both Conferences with the discussions followed every session of the 22 in total of both Conferences to be quite interesting. 

Fulltime Assistant Professor OR 2 Teaching/Research Associate posts
Transformation of Society: Politics/Philosophy/Economics

The Institute for Multi-Level Governance and Development - Prof. Clive L. Spash -  is currently inviting applications for a fulltime Assistant Professor, non-tenure track position (post-doc, gross monthly salary: € 3,483.30) or two (30 hours/week) Teaching and Research Associate positions (pre-doc, minimum gross monthly salary: € 1,961.85, recognition of previous employment - if relevant to the advertised position - possible). ) (Employees pursuant to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement for university employees - Angestellte/r gemaess Kollektivvertrag fuer die Arbeitnehmer/innen der Universitaeten). These employee positions will be limited to a period of 6 years, starting on 1st February, 2015 (commencement date subject to negotiation).

For more detailed information about the position you may contact Prof. Clive Spash ( Your application must be uploaded to  - Ref.No.: 2701

Applications are possible until 7 January, 2015.

Full Professorship (W3) for Sustainability Governance 

The Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Freiburg invites applications for a Full Professorship (W3) for Sustainability Governance in the department of Environmental Social Science and Geography to be filled by 1st October, 2015. 

This professorship is particularly suitable as a starting position for highly qualified early career researchers.

The candidate should possess an international research profile and be committed to research and teaching excellence at the interface between sustainability science and inter- and transdisciplinary science studies. 

For the preparation of documents please also see the information of the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources at

In addition, we require the completed application form provided at Submit this form together with the above-mentioned supporting documents stating the reference number 9058 by 23 January 2015 at the latest.

Please send your application in digital form and as a hard-copy  to the following address:

An den Vorsitzenden der Berufungskommission Sustainability Governance, Dean Prof. Dr. Tim Freytag, Tennenbacherstr. 4, 79106 Freiburg, Germany

Or via e-mail to

Further information on the appointment procedure can be found in the Code for Practice for professorial appointments, available here.

Call for Proposals to peer reviewed book on Grounded innovation

High quality chapters are sought for a new peer reviewed book at high level on Inclusive, Grounded Innovation in the sphere of biological resources and related industries and activities. A post-­‐ submission grant of €600 will be offered to authors who need support and who have little or no access to research funding. There will be a two-­‐stage process of selection. The first stage will draw up a short list of up to 12 chapters after the selection panel has reviewed outline chapter proposals of no more than three pages. Those selected for the short list will then be invited to submit full chapters before the deadline for submission.
Deadline: Outline proposals to be submitted by 1 March 2015
For further details please contact


5. Students and early career

The current student’s news section includes various announcements about post-doctoral positions, internships, summer schools and courses, and conferences.

The Oxford Winter School in Ecological Economics is to take place 4-8 January, 2015 at St Hilda's College, Oxford


This course explores the cutting edge methods and policy applications in ecological economics, an interdisciplinary field emerged in response to global sustainability crisis.

More information



International Summer School ESEE 2015, 28-30 June

In parallel with the ESEE 2015 conference theme "Transformations", the summer school will focus on the interrelations and interactions between the ecological, social, political, cultural and technological aspects of transformation to a sustainable society. Ideas developed in the summer school will be presented during one of the plenary sessions at the main conference. PhD and Master's students, and early career researchers, are invited to participate.

Application deadline: 1 March, 2015

Please email your application or any questions to

More information

PhD vacancy: Community based Marine Protected Areas, Ecosystem Services, and Environmental Change; Scottish Association for Marine Science & University of Edinburgh
Closing date: 23 January, 2015
For full terms and conditions see here.

For more details on the PhD see here.

To apply please go here.
PhD Student Needed University of Southampton

This PhD project will focus on such difficult trade-offs, and aims to:
(a) assess the role of social values for ecosystem service conservation,
(b) use innovative valuation methods, and
(c) contribute to the development of novel modelling approaches.

More information
Postdoc free access program Elsevier

Application deadline: 30 June, 2015
For scholars who recently received their PhDs and currently do not have a research position, we are pleased to offer unlimited complimentary access to all our journals and books on ScienceDirect, for up to 6 months.
More information
Courses - The Scottish Association for Marine Science

Ecosystem Based Management
(27-29 January, 2015)

If you’re interested in constructing and interpreting ecosystem models using the ecological modelling software, Ecopath with Ecosim, this hands-on three-day course provides a solid introduction for you.

Marine Policy Masterclass
(19-23 February, 2015)
This exclusive, fully-funded residential Marine Policy Masterclass is the first of its kind in the UK. It provides access to senior national and international advisers who will openly share their knowledge and experience of current and emergent political and scientific agendas, the challenges of communicating and handling uncertainty, and how to ensure your research is taken seriously at a policy level.