1. Editorial

  • Editorial, by Nuno Videira: Reconnecting people and the economy with nature

2. News from ESEE and its members

  • Connecting the dots: mining, environmental justice and unequal ecological exchange
  • EJOLT online course: “Ecological Economics and Environmental Justice”
  • Waiting to be Heard: Preliminary Results of the 2012 Equity & Sustainability Field Hearings
  • New project: Sustainable Farm Systems

3. Hot topic

  • Ecological Economics and Illegal immigration, by Giorgos Kallis
  • IPBES-1 – First plenary meeting of the new global mechanism on biodiversity and ecosystem services, by Irene Ring

4. Events

  • Global Convergence on a Finite Planet - Call for Papers
  • ESEE 2013 Call for papers - Extended deadline: December 14, 2012
  • 19th International Sustainable Development Research Society Conference "Just Transitions: a global perspective", July 1-3, 2013 near Cape Town, South Africa.
  • International Conference "Transformation in a Changing Climate", 19-21 June, 2013, University of Oslo, Norway
  • 3rd Annual European Postgraduate Symposium - "Sustainable Development Symposium", February 13-15, 2013, "Parthenope" University of Naples, Italy.

5. Job openings

  • BHP Billiton Chair in Sustainable Global Resources
  • Scholarship call: "Challenges of Water Governance in the Arab Region"

6. Publications

  • Special issue of Landscape and Urban Planning on Urban Ecosystem Services has just been published
  • JIE Special Issue: Greening Growing Giants
  • Long Term Socio-Ecological Research. Studies in Society: Nature Interactions Across Spatial and Temporal Scales.

7. Students

  • ESEE Summer School, June 17-18, 2013, Reims, France
  • EAERE Summer School June 30 – June 6, 2013, Venice
  • UK Valuing Nature Network event, 19 March 2013
  • Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) - Careers in Sustainability Excellence
  • Student and early career networking 
  • Student Research Exposé  - Guilhem Roux

1. Editorial

Editorial, by Nuno Videira: Reconnecting people and the economy with nature

As 2012 draws to a close it is timely to review some of the year’s hot issues and events, while looking also into the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Rio+20 was at the epicentre of sustainable development conferences this year, stirring up debate within and at the interfaces of science-policy-society spheres. The political outcome document, ‘The future we want’ (1), has been widely perceived as falling short of expectations, postponing clear definition on the set of institutions and norms with potential to become game-changers (e.g. definition of Sustainable Development Goals, strengthening of the United Nations Environment Programme, establishment of a high-level political forum for sustainable development).

The ‘green economy’ turned into a buzzword spreading with substantial appeal, but at the same time drawing a good share of controversy in several fronts. For example, in his address to the 1st Plenary Meeting of Rio+20, Jigmi Thinley, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bhutan, considered it a concept ‘(…) with enough ambiguity to divide us on the very issue of our survival that should unite us’. He pointed out the complementary role to be played by necessarily stronger commitments at sub-global levels and argued in favour of a new economic paradigm based on well-being and happiness. An argument he also exposed during the keynote speech to the ecological economics community attending ISEE 2012 in Rio de Janeiro in the preceding days (2).

Civil society organisations and movements present in the ‘People’s Summit at Rio+20 for Social and Environmental Justice’ opposed to the green economy pathway and considered that ‘(…) the real alternatives are to be found in our people, our history, our customs, knowledge, practices and systems of production, which we must maintain, improve and scale up…’ (3). The People’s Summit reclaimed more solidarity economies and promotion of ‘buen vivir’ (living well) in harmony with nature. These calls for new models of development, which increase people’s capabilities to flourish, underscore the timeliness of participative and co-operative research projects involving civil society organisations, wherein the potential for ecological economics tools and methods is explored ‘from the ground up’ (4).

Taking place right before the ISEE 2012 conference, the ‘Forum for Science, Technology and Innovation’, organized by the International Council for Science, produced recommendations that stand at odds with the vision of a green economy as an engine ‘for providing faster growth than a brown economy’ (5). Peter Victor and Tim Jackson also elaborated on this argument in Ecological Economics this year. They commented that it is unlikely that reduced CO2 emissions and social equity will be simultaneously met under assumptions of continuous economic growth. This was mainly justified by the treatment of investments and the lack of consideration for regional differentiation issues in UNEP’s simulation model underpinning green economy scenarios (6). Clive Spash poignantly added in Environmental Values that ‘In the green economy (…) all things can be made compatible by ignoring the basic contradiction between ever-expanding human activity and a finite world’ (7).

The concept of ‘planetary boundaries’ recently expanded evidence on the fundamental ecological economics premise of global biophysical constraints met by a growing economic subsystem. With the planetary boundaries framework rapidly diffusing into scientific, policy and civil society arenas, Johan Rockström and Mattias Klum launched at Rio+20 a coffee-table/tablet-ready book called ‘The Human Quest, Prospering Within Planetary Boundaries’. Illustrating compelling scientific insights with stunning photography, authors aim at increased public awareness and send a sharp reminder for the need to reconnect people’s values and lifestyles with the natural world. Meanwhile, urgent challenges arise regarding the reform of global environmental governance associated with planetary boundaries, as presented by the range of theoretical approaches and empirical cases included in the September Special Section of Ecological Economics (8).

In the Kenneth Boulding Award Lecture at ISEE 2012, Mathis Wackernagel argued that when an infinite-growth economy runs into a finite planet ‘debt boils over, the majority is left out, biodiversity is for sale and food turns into a luxury’ (9). Interestingly, using Global Footprint Network data and cost analysis, he connected the dots to show how the Euro crisis in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain is linked to a dynamics of rapid increase of biocapacity deficit in these countries.

Back in Europe, the vibrant debate over socio-ecological transitions gained momentum at the ‘3rd International Conference on Degrowth, Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity’, which took place in Venice in September. The conference held together multiple aspects of scientific research and social practices where people are doing things differently, downscaling material throughput while re-establishing a sense of interdependence with others and nature, and changing institutions at the root of the growth economy problems. A research agenda for ecological economists was subsequently laid out in the December Special Section of Ecological Economics on ‘The Economics of Degrowth’ (10).

On the road to Lille 2013, a set of key findings from ESEE 2011 in Istanbul was reported in Environmental Policy and Governance (11), along with several other stimulating works published throughout the year. Meanwhile, preparations by the organizing committee of the 10th Conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics are well on the way. Expect to listen distinguished keynote speakers addressing topics of ‘institutions and institutionalism’, ‘environment-society relationships’, ‘rethinking the role of science in society’, ‘redefining prosperity’ and ‘socio-ecological transitions’. Together with parallel and focused special sessions, which will tap on many of the issues discussed above, as well as other prominent topics, the event is set to become yet another exciting ESEE conference.

Looking forward to seeing you next year in Lille!

(1) United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20. Outcome document, Available at
(2) The address by His Excellency Jigmi Y. Thinley, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bhutan, at the General Debate - 1st Plenary Meeting, Rio+20 is available at: while the ISEE 2012 may be downloaded from
(3) The People’s Summit Final Declaration may be consulted at
(4) See for example the FP7 projects EJOLT - Environmental Justice Organisations, Liabilities and Trade ( and CEECEC – Civil Society Engagement with Ecological Economics (
(5) Recommendations and summaries from the ICSU sessions are available at:
(6) Victor, P. and Jackson, T. (2012). A commentary on UNEP’s Green Economy Scenarios. Ecological Economics, 77: 11-15
(7) Spash, C. (2012) Editorial: Green Economy, Red Herring. Environmental values, 21 (2): 95-99
(8) Galaz, V., Biermann, F., Folke, C., Nilsson, M., Olsson, P. (2012). Global environmental governance and planetary boundaries: An Introduction, Ecological Economics, 81: 1-3
(9) Matthis Wackernagel’s keynote lecture on ‘Economics of Global Auction’ is available at
(10)) Kallis, G., Kerschner, C., Martinez-Alier, J. (2012). The economics of degrowth. Ecological Economics, 84: 172-180
(11) Ozkaynak, B., Ring, I., Rauschmayer, F. (2012). Special Issue from the European Society for Ecological Economics 2011 Conference: ‘Advancing Ecological Economics: Theory and Practice’, Environmental Policy and Governance, 22: 293-294


2. News from ESEE and its members

Connecting the dots: mining, environmental justice and unequal ecological exchange
By Nick Meynen, Begum Ozkaynak and Beatriz Rodriguez-Labajos 

A recurring connection in the dozens of blogs, nine podcasts, four videos and a recent report produced by the European project EJOLT (1) is the one between mining conflicts on a local scale with ecologically unequal exchange on a global scale. EJOLT collaborator Professor Patrick Bond, for example, explains the background to the shootings in Marikana, South Africa, where 34 mine workers were shot dead by the police on August 16 and another 270 were arrested and charged with murder. He places what happened in a staggering context of a country liberated from official apartheid racism but then soon derailed by neoliberalism and crony capitalism. We had professor Alf Hornborg in one of our nine podcasts so far, explaining that: “In the seventies people like Samir Amin said that in international trade there is a net transfer of embodied labor time embodied in the produce exported from less developed countries. Simply put: labor exploitation. I would add that there is not only unequal exchange of labour-time but also unequal exchange of natural space” There's not only unequal exchange of land but also of energy and materials, and “virtual” water.

While the series of podcasts are 15-minute long introductions to the issues we work on, our reports dig a lot deeper. The most recent EJOLT report is called "Mining conflicts around the world. Common grounds from an Environmental Justice perspective". This report aims at exploring contemporary mining conflicts in the context of the environmental justice movement. This is done based on 24 real case studies from 18 different countries which are described by local activists and scholars. While 17 of the reported cases focus on conflicts related to metal mining (e.g. gold, silver, copper, zinc, and lead), four address uranium mining and one refers to coal mining. As an example of another frontier in the extractive industries, a sand mining conflict from India is also reported. All of these cases are directly chosen and reported, either in factsheets or in four cases in an in-depth study format, by EJOs, as part of a knowledge sharing activity well-established in EJOLT between EJOs and the academic community.

Although the cases covered are all quite unique and diverse in terms of type of conflict and geographical setting, they all share a common frame of analysis. First, the project and type of conflict are characterized in a nutshell, with some basic factual background that describes the companies involved, and the communities and locations affected. The roots of the conflicts are explored next, as well as relevant socioeconomic, cultural, health, and ecological impacts and related community claims. Where relevant, means of resistance are also specified with their influence on the project and on the outcome of the conflict. The report then offers a synthesis of the described mining cases, reviews their commonalities, links gained insights with research needs and discusses some policy recommendations that might follow from this analysis. Compiling such a diverse set of mining conflicts building on EJO knowledge promotes mutual learning and collaboration among stakeholders, EJOs and academia, which is one of the key objectives of EJOLT.  It also shows the link from environmental justice movements to sustainability.

Another EJOLT report coming out soon will link mining, ecologically unequal exchange and environmental liabilities even more explicitly, based on the Yasuni case (see the EJOLT video).

(1) EJOLT stands for Environmental Justice Organisations, Liabilities and Trade. This FP7 project (2011-15) is financed by the European Commission. It supports the work of Environmental Justice Organisations (EJOs) in four continents, uniting scientists, activist organisations, think-tanks and policy-makers from the fields of environmental law, environmental health, political ecology and ecological economics. The focus is on the practical use of concepts such as ecologically unequal exchange or ecological debt in environmental activism and policy-making. 


EJOLT online course: “Ecological Economics and Environmental Justice”

EJOLT is running an online course “Ecological Economics and Environmental Justice”, taught through civil society organisation (CSO) case studies across a broad range of topics with a particular focus on the theme of environmental justice. It will run from mid/late January to mid/late May (tbc).

This interactive online course takes place over sixteen weeks. It has been designed for activists interested in understanding and applying the tools of ecological economics and political ecology to their work, and for researchers of the sustainability sciences interested in the real world application of the concepts and methods of ecological economics and political ecology in the field of environmental justice.

A fee to cover running costs will be charged. This will amount to approximately 160€, The core text that will be used is Ecological Economics from the Ground Up, due to be published in December by Routledge.
The course will be taught in English, but assignments can be submitted in Spanish, French or Portuguese.

The deadline for applications is December 15, 2012.
For more information visit:


Waiting to be Heard: Preliminary Results of the 2012 Equity & Sustainability Field Hearings

How do local communities in the developing world envision moving towards sustainability? How do they experience inequality? How are these two things related?

“Waiting to be Heard: Preliminary Results of the 2012 Equity & Sustainability Field Hearings” is now available for viewing or download at the following link:

With 60 coauthors and based on discussions with over 2700 individuals in communities across Asia, Africa and Europe, this report provides a good snapshot of current conditions and thinking in relatively underprivileged communities.

New project: Sustainable Farm Systems

How did farmers maintain soil fertility as they cultivated the same land over decades and centuries? How did they transfer energy and nutrients across the landscape to fertilize crops? How did farmers structure landscapes (field, pasture, woodland) to sustain communities, ensure long-term productivity, and produce profits? The way Western agriculture faced these challenges changed considerably over three centuries. In the transition from traditional to industrial agriculture, production and profits expanded but ecosystem functions degraded, threatening long-term sustainability. Guidance about options for sustainable agriculture resides in the rich historical record of rural communities on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. The move from traditional to industrial agriculture in the 19th and 20th centuries was a major transformation. Researchers will investigate the drivers of that transition, explore why it began at different times in different places, and consider why the manufacturing sector industrialized decades earlier than the agricultural sector.  The project Sustainable farm systems: long term socio-ecological metabolism in western agriculture integrates scholars from across a broad range of disciplines from Canada, the USA, Cuba, Colombia, Spain and Austria. It draws upon multiple case studies of historical farm communities in Europe, North America and Latin America will create a common database of agricultural systems over the past 300 years. The research program employs “socio-ecological metabolism” methods, an approach that views farms as ecosystems and measures flows of energy and soil nutrients through the landscape.  This project’s overarching goal is to understand the biophysical choices and trade-offs available to farmers and the options that are possible for long-term sustainability. The project is funded by the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Councils (SSHRC Partnership Grant). It started with a kick off workshop in June in Colombia and runs for a period of five years. The Austrian subproject is coordinated by Fridolin Krausmann.


For more information:


3. Hot topic

Ecological Economics and Illegal immigration
by Giorgos Kallis

This is a hot topic, but not because of fervent research activity. On the contrary: there isn’t any ecological-economic work on legal or illegal immigration that I know of, after a special issue by Muradian et al back in 2006 on migration and globalization. Illegal migration though is a burning political issue and a disaster of humanitarian proportions. Hundreds of people drown every year in the Mediterranean Sea trying to reach Europe.

Ecological economics has had traditionally very little to say on illegal immigration debates. Unfortunately when it does say something it tends to be over-simplistic. Normally it takes implicitly the form of immigration as a variable that increases P in the IPAT equation. Since a high I is bad for the environment, well, illegal immigration must be bad too. Some go even further and take Garrett Hardin´s “lifeboat ethics” literally. According to this view each nation is a lifeboat with a maximum I and hence a maximum P; unwelcome immigrants are the extra P that should stay out of the lifeboat. In fact this is what happens in Europe where kids from Africa drown without lifeboats in the middle of the sea. And sadly, prominent ecological economists on the other side of the Atlantic let their names feature in the advisory board of the euphemistically called “Carrying Capacity Network”, an organization whose extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric would shock most members of ESEE.

Fortunately, not all ecological economists fantasize national lifeboats. Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen for one had called for the banning of borders and visas and for a right of free movement to all. For NGR there are no illegal human beings. This is an idea repeated by Joan Martinez-Alier on various occasions, and taken up by the 2nd International Conference for Degrowth in Barcelona in 2010. What could critical, social ecological economists offer to a better understanding of the unfolding tragedy of illegal immigration?

A first task in which research has much to offer is the dismantling of the lifeboat myth. NGR´s proposal reminds us that if there is a lifeboat, this is planet Earth, and not any artificially bounded nation-state. Let me offer here a few hypotheses that could be empirically tested. First, assuming that one accepts a global convergence of incomes as a noble goal, it is better if poorer people get richer and consume more in richer countries, than in their home countries. Richer, more developed countries use resources more efficiently per unit of income. For Earth as a whole it is better if Chinese get richer as immigrants in the U.S., than as Chinese in China. Second, impoverished nations are much more vulnerable to climate extremes. From a climate change adaptation perspective and a global welfare viewpoint, it is better if more people migrate to rich nations and are protected by the better infrastructures there, than if they stay exposed in their own nations. Third, impoverished nations tend to put more pressure on local environmental resources. There is a positive feedback between poverty, social marginalization and pressure upon marginalized ecosystems. If some of the people putting marginal pressures can escape by becoming taxi-drivers in New York, so be it, their pressure upon Central Park is likely to be smaller. Fourth, immigrants of non-Western origin tend on average to live more convivially than their Western counterparts. A large extended family often shares a single housing unit. The household IPAT per immigrant family member is much lower than that of their individualistic Western hosts. Environmental impact per worker is likely to be lower the higher the proportion of (poor) immigrants in a country’s workforce is.

The second area where EE has much to offer concerns the causes of illegal immigration. Economists treat immigration as an individual choice balancing the benefits with the costs of immigration. This will raise some eyebrows among ecological economists. Still, an important finding is that the so-called preference for domestic consumption (sic), i.e. the desire of one to stay home, is an important part of the calculus. Beyond the marginal earnings model of neo-classical economics, most migrants, except some middle-class academics such as myself, do not migrate for the fun or the marginal utility of it, but because of a shock at the living conditions at their homes. Other factors equal, save for such shocks most people prefer to stay home. Ecological economists can analyse the contribution of ecological “push factors”, such as environmental degradation, urban deprivation or natural disasters, and their relation with a global economy of unequal exchange and ecological debt. They can also link illegal migration to “push factors” such as the oil wars and the oppressive regimes in the Middle East and Africa. Ecological economists can also shed light on “pull-factors” starting with the Marxian insight, shared by Herman Daly, that within capitalist economies, there is a structural pull for illegal immigration. In the absence of native population growth, immigration keeps the costs of labour low, and illegal immigration even more so. Daly however hints that illegal immigration should be controlled precisely to reduce the exploitation of illegal immigrants. In other words, people should be punished for their own good as if they don’t know the exploitation they are getting into when they decide to immigrate.

To me, NGR´s proposal makes more sense than Daly´s. With open borders, immigrants would be subject to the same rights and obligations as natives (not least in terms of social security and taxes), and hence their costs will not be any lower than that of natives with the same skills; it is their illegality that makes them cheaper. As less jobs will be available for immigrants given their higher cost, the pull-factor will decrease. Also a global convergence of labour costs because of immigration will reduce the benefits of outsourcing and hence reduce the negative environmental impacts of trade. Finally with open borders, if rich nations wish to control immigration, an efficient way of doing so will be to invest for development in the origin countries and make unequal exchange more equal.

My article has been on purpose provocative. My intention has been to shake lazy thinking around illegal immigration. Ecological economics as I see it has nothing to do with reactionary national life-boat ethics or hate-spreading views such as those of the Carrying Capacity Network. New research on illegal immigration by European ecological economists should make this as clear as possible.


IPBES-1 – First plenary meeting of the new global mechanism on biodiversity and ecosystem services
by Irene Ring

IPBES stands for “Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services”. The first meeting of the Platform’s Plenary (IPBES-1) will be held in Bonn, Germany from 21 to 26 January 2013. This new global mechanism addressing the gaps in the science policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services was officially established in Panama in April 2012. The platform is the result of the follow-up processes of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2001 – 2005) and the IMOSEB-initiative on an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity (2005 – 2007). With IPBES, the important field of biodiversity and ecosystem services will also have a global mechanism that, although being often compared to the long-existing Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has been set up differently in some of its features.

What are the major tasks of IPBES? IPBES will respond to requests for scientific information related to biodiversity and ecosystem services from Governments, relevant multilateral environmental agreements and United Nations bodies, and other relevant stakeholders. Governments have agreed that the four major tasks of the platform will be:

• Biodiversity and ecosystem assessments: To perform regular assessments of knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services and their interlinkages;
• Knowledge generation: To identify and prioritize key scientific information needed for policymakers and to catalyse efforts to generate new knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services;
• Policy tools: To support policy formulation and implementation by identifying policy-relevant tools and methodologies;
• Capacity building: To prioritize key capacity-building needs to improve the science-policy interface, and to provide and call for financial and other support for the highest-priority needs related directly to its activities.

The last point is quite crucial as it has been agreed that IPBES will be financed through voluntary contributions only. A core trust fund shall be established to receive voluntary contributions from Governments, United Nations bodies, the Global Environment Facility, other intergovernmental organizations and other stakeholders, such as the private sector and foundations.

The first IPBES plenary meeting in January 2013 will aim to set up major rules of procedures for the meetings of the platform, consider further rules of procedure for the platform, elect Bureau and Multidisciplinary Expert Panel members, and agree on the next steps by which the IPBES work programme can become operational as soon as possible.

The IPCC has formed the basis for many considerations in establishing IPBES, both mechanisms share the same broad intentions, that is to ensure the best available science and knowledge is made available to governments and other decision makers. IPBES will also have strong peer review processes in place, and will draw on multidisciplinary expertise from around the globe. Important differences compared to the IPCC relate to a broader scope of the IPBES assessments with stronger elements of sub-global and thematic assessment than the IPCC assessments. This is due to the importance of managing biodiversity and ecosystem services at more local and regional scales than the climate. Ensuring multi-stakeholder input, involving networks as well as recognizing indigenous and local knowledge constitute explicit aims of IPBES. Consequently, IPBES will have a stronger work programme on capacity-building than does the IPCC presently.

Given IPBES’ inter- and multidisciplinary approach, incorporating all relevant disciplines, including social and natural sciences, IPBES represents an important mechanism for further engagement of ecological economists interested in biodiversity and ecosystem services research.

For further information visit


4. Events

Global Convergence on a Finite Planet Conference, 21st-23rd February, 2013, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, India - Call for Papers

Recognising that the sustainable development challenge is becoming increasingly acute, in the face of population growth, escalating consumption, a sharp rich-poor divide, environmental pressures, and climate change - the CONVERGE project focuses on how a transition to global equity for human society within the finite limits of our one planet (- Convergence) might inform EU policy. The recent context of the failures of the international SD processes at Rio to develop real ways forward indicate that we cannot simply slide SDGs into the system and expect radical change. From a Convergence perspective the way forward needs to be constructed by taking on the challenges of the Brundtland report and focussing on ’ Equity within Planetary Boundaries’. The issue of equity and development has been the reef on which international cooperation has foundered. Crucially, the discussions of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are bringing environment and development agendas move closer together. This will greatly strengthen the ability of a more united movement to work for the radical changes necessary for all our futures.

Key Overall Question: Can Convergence be a unifying frame for Environment and Development movements and international agreements?
Specifically: how can Convergence contribute to the development of effective and equi table international Sustainable Development Goals?

Participants to cover their own travel an accommodation costs. For help with arranging accommodation and Travel please contact
Event registration -


ESEE 2013 Call for papers - Extended deadline: December 14, 2012

The 10th International conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics “Ecological Economics and Institutional Dynamics” will be held in Lille (France), 18-21 June 2013. For more information visit the website:

19th International Sustainable Development Research Society Conference "Just Transitions: a global perspective, July 1-3, 2013, near Cape Town, South Africa

The Global Research Forum on Sustainable Consumption and Production (GRF-SPC) aims to organize a session, or a track of sessions, on SPC in Africa. For the ISDRC call for papers visit:


International Conference "Transformation in a Changing Climate", 19-21 June, 2013, University of Oslo, Norway

More Information:


3rd Annual European Postgraduate Symposium - "Sustainable Development Symposium", February 13-15, 2013, "Parthenope" University of Naples, Italy

More information:


5. Job openings

BHP Billiton Chair in Sustainable Global Resources

The new UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources is UCL’s mechanism for bringing together a wide range of perspectives, understandings and procedures in research into the availability and use of natural resources and the environment, transcending the boundaries between academic disciplines. UCL now invites applications for the BHP Billiton Chair in Sustainable Global Resources from candidates with an outstanding record of research and publication in the sustainability of resource use, with a strong background in either natural or social science, or both.

Key Requirements: The suitable candidates will have a background in the use and availability of natural resources and sustainable development. The successful candidate must be highly motivated with a track record in winning research funding, probably including from research councils. They will also have international experience and an international reputation, and are likely to have worked across disciplines within the natural and physical sciences, or across these and the social sciences. They are also likely to have held prestigious research fellowships or other comparable appointments. The successful candidate would be expected to assume a leadership role within the UCL ISR, working closely with the Institute Director and with a range of international research partners and stakeholders in business and policy-making.

For further details please click here 


Scholarship call: "Challenges of Water Governance in the Arab Region"

Erasmus Mundus Partnership mobilities to Humboldt-Universität 2012. Fields of studies, offers and “Call in Call” actions: Download the dull call here:
For more information, please contact: Prof. Dr. Andreas Thiel, email:, heading the research group on Environmental Governance at Humboldt with scientific interest in the transformation of water governance, natural resource management and climate change policy ( )


6. Publications

Special issue of Landscape and Urban Planning on Urban Ecosystem Services has just been published

Landscape and Urban Planning has just published a special issue on Urban Ecosystem Services (vol. 109, no. 1):

The objective of this special issue has been to bring together the various perspectives on the value of urban ecosystem services and discuss the potential of merging and synthesizing these perspectives. Ultimately, this should lay foundations for a more sustainable management of ecosystem services in urban areas. The special issue contains 11 articles referring to governance, economic valuation, social issues and tools that support the management of ecosystem services in cities. The editorial by the guest editors, Klaus Hubacek and Jakub Kronenberg, puts these articles in the broader context of research on urban ecosystem services.

The articles have been authored by Henrik Ernstson, Pim Bendt, Stephan Barthel, Johan Colding, Elisabeth K. Larson, Charles Perrings, Jan Melichar, Kateřina Kaprová, Robert F. Young, E. Gregory McPherson, James J. Connolly, Erika S. Svendsen, Dana R. Fisher, Lindsay K. Campbell, Joanna Piwowarczyk, Jakub Kronenberg, Małgorzata Anna Dereniowska, Daniele La Rosa, Riccardo Privitera, Adrienne Grêt-Regamey, Enrico Celio, Thomas M. Klein, Ulrike Wissen Hayek, Kathleen Gail Radford, Philip James.

JIE Special Issue: Greening Growing Giants

Industrial Ecology reaching out beyond the core industrial countries: A special issue on Greening Growing Giants (eds. S.Hashimoto, M.Fischer-Kowalski, S. Suh und X.Bai) searches for another more sustainable development pathway for countries that now contain the majority of the world population, and will soon dominate the world economy.

For more information:

Long Term Socio-Ecological Research. Studies in Society: Nature Interactions Across Spatial and Temporal Scales.

Long Term Socio-Ecological Research. Studies in Society: Nature Interactions Across Spatial and Temporal Scales. Series: Human-Environment Interactions, Vol. 2, Singh, S.J.; Haberl, H.; Chertow, M.; Mirtl, M.; Schmid, M. (Eds.) 2013, XXXVII, 588 p. 107 illus., 42 in colour.” is available as ebook now: 


7. Students

ESEE Summer School, June 17-18, 2013, Reims, France

Preceding the ESEE 2013 conference in Lille, the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne (URCA) and ESEE will be organising a two day workshop focused on postgraduate students. Linking to the conference theme, the workshop theme will be Ecological Economics and Institutionalist Approaches. The idea of the summer school is to bring together around 40 selected PhD and Masters students with 10 senior researchers from within ESEE, providing space for discussion and exchange. Past participants of ESEE summer schools, including the 2011 ESEE pre-conference workshop in Istanbul, are particularly invited to join as mentors who will buddy up with less experienced researchers.

The summer school will include two types of sessions: both lecture slots with question-and-answer, and participatory workshops where young researchers will be able to present their work, gather feedback from others participants, and discussing key issues in Ecological Economics. The participation at the summer school will provide ECTS.

Keynote speakers will include: Christian Barrère (URCA), Geoffrey Hodgson (University of Hertfordshire, England), Jasper Kenter (University of Aberdeen), Thierry Kirat (University of Paris 13), Martino Nieddu (URCA), John O’Neill (University of Manchester), Clive Spash (Vienna University) and Frank-Dominique Vivien (URCA).

Participation will be free for ESEE 2013 student conference participants, and low cost accommodation will be arranged. To apply, see the link below, or email . The application deadline is March 1st, 2013

More info:


EAERE Summer School June 30 – June 6, 2013, Venice

The European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE), Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) and Venice International University (VIU) are pleased to announce their annual European Summer School in Resource and Environmental Economics for postgraduate students. The 2013 Summer School will take place from June 30th to July 6th, at the VIU campus on the Island of San Servolo, in Venice, located just in front of St. Mark’s Square. The theme of this Summer School is "Uncertainty, Innovation and Climate Change". Application is restricted to 2013 EAERE members, both European and non-European citizens. Given the highly interactive activities planned at the Summer School, the number of participants is limited to 20. There is no participation fee. All applicants can apply for a scholarship.  For further information on application and funding please access the Summer School Website at


UK Valuing Nature Network event, 19 March 2013

The UK Valuing Nature Network will have a large networking meeting on Tuesday 19 March 2013, in London. The Valuing Nature Network management team would like to invite you to come and we will have people from academia, policy, business and non-governmental organisations there on the day.

Speakers include: Professor Ian Boyd, Defra Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor Gretchen Daily, Stanford University (USA), Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, University of Cambridge, Ian Cheshire, CEO Kingfisher and Chair of the Defra Ecosystem Markets Task Force. For more details and registration see

Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) - Careers in Sustainability Excellence

CASTLE consortium – (Marie Curie Initial Training Network) –  invites applications for 14 full-time research vacancies for early stage researchers. Selected researchers are expected to undertake transnational mobility in order to implement an Individual Research Project at one of the consortium partner institutions, as well as to participate in a joint network training programme. Call for applications closes: December 31st 2012


Student and early career networking 

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. If you have any other ideas for student and early career activities within ESEE, please contact Jasper Kenter –

Student Research Exposé  - Guilhem Roux

Tell us about yourself

After a BA in Mathematics and Physics, I studied Economics at the ENSAE-ParisTech. But at the end of my masters there, I felt very disappointed by the epistemological and ethical hypothesis of orthodox mathematical economics, and I decided to study philosophy. I’m now trying to develop thoughts in economics and philosophy.

What are you researching?
I am researching strategies of governance for sustainable development. In my PhD dissertation I am demonstrating that the institutions on which political economy traditionally relies on, the Market, the Administration and the Forum, aren’t adapted to the ecological stake. They stem from the enlightenment in the 17e and 18e century and evolved to respond to social crisis but they are not effective enough in addressing the ecological crisis today.
I’m working now on the potential of judicial institutions in terms of addressing ecological issues. The social authority of judges and the courts is something that hasn’t been the focus of much attention in the literature, I think. Yet, these institutions are traditionally very powerful in European countries since Roman times, and are proving to be particularly sensitive to ecological stakes, as is illustrated by the contemporary development of environmental law. I think that these institutions deserve more attention in our research of institutional strategies for environmental governance. 

If you were in charge of the world economy for one day, tell me one thing what you would do and why?
If I were in charge of the world economy for one day, I would wake up very early because I would try to do many things… I would create green courts so that environmental law would really be implemented, victims of environmental degradation be listened to and those responsible for this degradation convicted. I would create regional currencies managed by local public banks, in order to develop and foster local economies, where the distance between producers and consumers is small, commodities aren’t obliged to travel all around the planet and employment is not susceptible to be delocalised. I would concentrate on education for sustainable development, so that the majority of people on earth becomes aware of natural constraints and the necessity to change actual social habits. And if I have enough time, before sleeping, I would try to publicly privilege arts, philosophy and culture as means of human flourishing, far away from the contemporary devotion to consumption and money spread by mass media.

Tell me one thing that you think many ecological economists don’t realise, but should.
I sometimes think that ecological economists don’t concentrate enough on the political dimension of the problem. They are not sufficiently at ease about the matter of institutions, power and governance. Yet, our unsustainable society is also the result of the behaviour of some dominant corporations and social classes who today have the power to impose on everybody a certain way of life which is in fact particularly advantageous for themselves. We need to understand the mechanism of authority, governance and institutions if we want new ways of live to emerge, and sustainability not being only a dream but becoming a reality.

Guilhem can be contacted at

Are you a student and are you interested in a short exposé of your research? Then please contact Jasper Kenter, ESEE student representative, at