INVALUABLE - Valuation market and policies for biodiversity and ecosystem services

2012-2014

 

The policy objective of INVALUABLE is to support a better informed use (and non-use) of market-based instruments (MBIs) and economic valuations for ecosystem services, biodiversity, and society. Without prejudging the desirability of using these policy instruments and valuations, and taking stock of the contrasted views between stakeholders and countries, teams in the project will eventually inform decision-makers on the range of available options and their consequences with MBIs as a departing point. These decision-makers may be part of government agencies, aid agencies and development banks, NGOs, private companies.
The proposal was framed in response to a context where MBIs have gained great visibility and represent a massive trend, which often does not rely on sound and empirical evidence that they could achieve better results than other approaches. The understanding of MBIs lags far behind their visibility and promotion, because of the substantial ideological biases they carry. In this project we use as a departing point the range of instruments that are classified by at least some authors as MBIs. While acknowledging the lack of relevance of gathering under a same vague label a number of heterogeneous instruments, we adopt this methodological approach in order to avoid prejudgments and in order to establish sound categories according to our own theoretical and empirical researches.

The overall objective is supported by 3 work packages :

  • WP1 looks at the theoretical foundations of MBIs and their emergence in different prevalent as well as marginalized societal discourses, as well as their impacts on collective action and the motivations of agents through modified institutional arrangements and incentives. As such, it combines studies on economic theory, discourses, and behavioural and social consequences associated to the implementation of these policy instruments. These various angles reflect an attempt to move away from the restrictive approach focused on the correction of market failures.
  • WP2 looks at the impacts of various MBIs on the design and implementation of conservation policies. While we might address environmental impacts though land use changes when feasible and social impacts through surveys, we also consider that both types of impacts can also to some extent be assessed through the degree of reinforcement / weakening of conservation policies. Reinforcement is understood here as conservation policies being designed with reliance on scientific knowledge (from environmental and social sciences) and having the means to be enforced. We argue that environmental effectiveness – e.g. conservation policies meeting their stated environmental objectives – is likely to result from this reinforcement. On the other hand, social impacts may be improved by proper recognition of all stakeholders’ interests and thus by the consideration of inputs from social sciences. All in one, such reinforcement seems a fair objective and MBIs may or may not be the most appropriate to support it.
  • WP3 looks at legal / institutional frameworks from the perspective of science and policy interactions for MBI design and implementation. First, we assess whether and how scientific information and different types of knowledge matter and are used for decision-making, especially through existing Science-Policy Interface bodies. Second, we study the role of legal / institutional frameworks in improving the use of economic valuations and other types of knowledge for MBIs. As explained above, the “improved” use does not assume that economic valuations and markets should be used more intensively, even less in all circumstances and for all policy objectives. While the common assumption that available economic valuations would be integrated in policy-making and inform decisions (“we don’t protect what we don’t value”) has fallen short of expectations, we seek to study this “implementation gap” without assuming in the first place that it must be filled.

Partners to the project have collectively agreed on a position paper that is aimed at clarifying the overall direction of the project, the context in which it takes place, a number of working assumptions that all partners have adopted, and statements on several terminology issues that have emerged during the writing of the proposal. Indeed, the participation of as many as ten partners from various horizons and fields has necessarily triggered discussions over the meaning of several key concepts and terms that will be central in the project.

Coordinateurs du projet
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Financement du projet
This research was funded by the ERA-Net BiodivERsA, with the national funders ANR part of the 2011 BiodivERsA call for research proposals

Membres ART-Dev impliqués
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Membres d’autres laboratoires

  • Institut du Développement Durable et des Relations Internationales (IDDRI)
  • Radboud University Nijmegen (CIDIN)
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
  • Centre de coopération International en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD)
  • Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)
  • Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)
  • Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP)
  • Universität Freiburg (IFP)
  • Wageningen Universiteit (Environmental Sciences Group)
  • Matthieu Wemaëre Cabinet d’Avocats
  • Atelier de lancement avril 2012, Paris, Sciences-po. 
  • Atelier à mi parcours, avril 2013, Sciences po, Paris

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