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Knowing angler ‘hotspots’ could help enforce catch limits

Anglers along the South African coastline choose their fishing spots on the likelihood of catching the most fish, rather than how far they have to walk to get to the spot, or weather conditions. Knowing where these fishing ‘hotspots’ are could help authorities enforce catch limits, as line fish stocks have depleting dramatically in recent years.


Debunking Africa’s ‘resource curse’

Not all economists buy into the notion of the ‘resource curse’ - namely, that resource-rich countries end up with slower growth and stalled development, in spite of having bankable natural assets. Newly appointed associate professor Mare Sarr argues that principles of transparency, accountability and institutions are more important factors leading to whether countries use or abuse their natural wealth.


EfD Tanzania project winner “Utilization of Research results for Improved Livelihood”

The University of Dar es Salaam organized a Research Week exhibition that was held in March 2015. This was organized in order to increase visibility of the output of UDSM academic staff in the area of research and its contribution in solving national problems.  The event was the first of its kind as each unit participated.  It was organized at two levels; namely unit (Colleges/Schools/Institutes) level and university level. The theme of research week was “Utilization of Research Results for Improved Livelihood”.


Don’t oversell nature’s services in cities, scientist warns

Natural spaces within city limits, such as wetlands or forests, can offer important support to cities in terms of helping to manage waste water, or slow down flood waters. But scientists shouldn’t over-sell certain of these ecosystem services when lobbying for their protection with city managers, because it could lead to greater pressure being put on these already over-pressured systems.


What’s the ‘play’ value of SA’s Kogelberg coast?

The beautiful Kogelberg coastline - a 100 km long stretch of towering mountains and craggy beaches about an hour’s drive east of Cape Town - and its surrounding tourist attractions are estimated to have a ‘recreational value’ of about US$27.2 million (ZAR272 million) annually.


Zimbabwean peasant farmers could learn from commercial conservationists

Zimbabwe’s community-based conservation approach, which brings together peasant farmers in a tourism-focused approach to wildlife management, has not curbed poaching along the edge of protected areas as intended. And communities haven’t benefited as much from the income they hoped to gain from selling hunting licences, either.


Zimbabwean economist gets UCT professorship

Newly appointed professor Edwin Muchapondwa has travelled a long way since he left his home town of Bindura, near Harare, when he was eight years old. Over three decades later, the conservation and development challenges of rural Zimbabwe remain front and centre for the University of Cape Town (UCT) economist.


CASCADE Project reviews its progress and prepares for 2016

As part of its Third Annual Meeting, members of the CASCADE project, which is co-led by Conservation International (CI) and CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education), reviewed the overall progress of the initiative as well as the main results obtained in the different lines of research.


Towards a Workable and Effective Climate Regime-new e book out

This year, for the first time ever, nearly all of the world’s countries are making pledges to help limit future climate change. As of October 1st, 147 countries, representing about 85 percent of global emissions, have submitted their “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs).


EPRU brings ‘neutral’ view to Namibia mining question

The Namibian government is considering whether or not to open up its offshore phosphate deposits for dredge mining. But before it does so, it wants to make a careful and considered decision based on independent analysis of the likely impacts on the environment, and how other competing industries might be affected.


Government’s role in promoting tourism

Southern African states need to create the right policy, fight corruption and build infrastructure if they want tourism to thrive in their countries. By doing so, they will allow the economic development potential of the sector to trickle down to communities in a way that encourages inclusive and sustainable growth.


Private ecotourism can drive rural development

When ecotourism lodges employ people from within some remote communities in Southern Africa, they are often giving them their first permanent job. This highlights the importance of these staff being given adequate training as they fill their posts.


    Despite significant progress- improved or new Chinese reforms are needed

    The EfD policy day brought together researchers and policy makers in discussions on improving transportation and forest policies with a focus on the Chinese context. The country has experienced a dramatic increase in economic growth during the past decades. One consequence has been a veritable explosion in the number of passenger cars increasing from 23 to 120 million in only ten years. Problems of air pollution and congestion have followed.The morning session was held against this background with inputs from Professor Daoli Zhu, Associate professors Ping Qin and Haitao Yin and Mike Toman of the World Bank.


      Paris 2015 and beyond: Cooling the climate debate

      On October 29-30, 2015 ,Thomas Sterner, together with the French professor of economic theory and social organization at the Collège de France, Roger Guesnerie, hosted  the climate workshop "Paris 2015 and beyond, cooling the climate debate" where several of the world's top climate economists participated.


      Mäler Scholarship in Environmental Economics: Call for applications

      The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics is  announcing a new round of the Mäler Scholar competition. The institute is an international center of excellence at the interface of ecology and economics. It is based in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden and has a small staff of researchers who work on a variety of ecological-economics issues. The scholarship is intended for early-career researchers in environmental economics from developing regions of the world who already have a PhD or are currently enrolled in a PhD program and will finish within 1-2 years. Preference is given to researchers affiliated with EfD centers and the four regional environmental economics networks—CEEPA, EEPSEA, LACEEP, and SANDEE. Others are welcome to apply.  Deadline for applications is October 30.


      EPRU fellow takes top economics PhD award

      How will people behave as they’re faced with the challenges of climate change? Will they work together to cut carbon emissions, in the interest of the greater good, or will they act in their own self-interest? And how much of a gamble will people take as they grapple with how to cope with living in a world where extreme weather events become the new ‘normal’?


      Award winning dissertation, in brief.

      Dr Kerri Brick recently won the prestigious Economic Society of South Africa (ESSA) prize for the best doctoral dissertation submitted in 2014. The Environmental Policy Research Unit (EPRU) fellow, based at the University of Cape Town’s School of Economics, submitted a thesis based on four papers which explore how people might respond to different aspects of the challenges which climate change presents society.


      Rich get richer in Ethiopian forests

      Since the Ethiopian government has changed the nature of forestry related property rights in order to allow communities in south-western Ethiopia to harvest timber and other resources in state forests, these communities have benefited from increased income as they now sell timber, wild coffee and honey.


      EPRU associate scoops ‘young scientist’ award

      It was a spontaneous turn off her intended route through Oxford 17 years ago, and into a side street, that led geographer Gina Ziervogel into the lobby of a building that would become the institutional home where she gained her doctorate, and launched her into a career that recently landed her a top research award here in South Africa.


      African tourism: the ‘multiplier’ effect

      For every one person employed by certain high-end tourism lodges in southern Africa, seven people benefit from the downstream flow of that income. Meanwhile, staff employed in these sorts of ventures help grow the local economy by spending their wages at community stores where they do their grocery shopping. Or they drive secondary employment through hiring people for child care or to tend their livestock while they work. Or they’re sending their children to school.


      Tourism for development: being inclusive

      The immediate downstream benefits of tourism can be measured in clear economic terms for remote communities who have few employment prospects in rural Africa. But the social, environment, and political impacts are also key to driving ‘inclusive growth’ for such communities.


      NENRE Researcher gives a talk on Chilean TURFs

      Carlos Chávez gives a presentation in the context of a Workshop on Monitoring and Productivity of Chilean TURFs. The activity took place during June in the city of Puerto Montt, southern Chile, with the participation of leaders from more than 40 organization of artisanal fishermen, government officials, the National Fisheries Services, and the Chilean Judicial system.


      Small Kenyan hydro research gets global exposure

      The work by Mary Karumba, a doctoral researcher at the University of Cape Town’s Environmental Research Policy Unit (EPRU) in South Africa, recently received some international coverage when the Heinrich Boll Foundation (HBF) ran a column on the work she is doing in her home country.


      Social experiment with parallel currency

      A tattoo artist, a bread maker, a ‘spaza’ shop owner, and a hair stylist - all from the small town of Piketberg, in the wheat- and fruit-farming region about an hour’s drive north-east of Cape Town - have something unusual in common. And it’s all in their wallets.


        EfD well represented at EAERE 2015

        EfD was well represented during  EAERE21, 2015, in Helsinki Finland, last week. Our researchers participated in a wide range of sessions.One of the EfD organized sessions was the  Thematic Policy Session  on Energy and development: The role of clean cook stoves organized by Marc Jeuland (Duke), Gunnar Köhlin (University of Gothenburg).


        High profile Energy Workshop in Ethiopia completed

        A workshop, titled ‘Sustainable energy transitions in low and middle-income countries: lessons for Ethiopia’ was held on June 1st to 3rd in Ethiopia to explore the potential for a new EfD research program on the drivers and impacts of energy transitions.


        The importance of accounting for spillover effects in policy design

        Marcela Jaime recently defended her thesis: Essays on behavioral Economics and Policy Design. What it is about? My thesis is about unintended effects of behavioral and policy interventions and its effects on policy design. Unintended effects of policies, either positive or negative, are often referred to as spillover effects. Specifically, my thesis investigates spillover effects of monetary and non-monetary policy instruments for environment and natural resource management, in both developing and developed settings.


        Understanding gender relations crucial when dealing with the ”killer in the kitchen”

        Effective kitchen stoves that use less firewood and emit fewer greenhouse gases are both cheap and available to the rural population in many developing countries. But the demand for the stove is low. From his field study in Ethiopia, economist Sied Hassen at the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, draws the conclusion that the bargaining power in the household is the key for understanding the adoption of more effective stoves.


        Tanzanian farmers are adapting to climate change

        Smallholder farmers in Tanzania, who have seen how climate change has altered rainfall patterns and pushed up temperatures, are adapting their farming methods to meet these shifting conditions. This presents an opportunity for the government there to tailor its policies to help farmers meet future farming challenges.


        EfD-CA Center Director Francisco Alpizar acknowledged for his participation in the first Encyclical of Pope Francisco on the Environment.

        Past Thursday 18th Pope Francisco released its long-awaited Encyclical on the Environment in which he warned against "suicidal" behavior of a global economic system. This same day a national news article acknowledged the participation of EfD-CA Center Director Francisco Alpizar in the Encyclical on the Environment. Alpizar was one of three Latin Americans who participated in the meeting held in May 2014 at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. To read the complete article please click Here (Spanish Only).


        Zim community sidesteps government middle men to reclaim hunting revenues

        Some rural communities in Zimbabwe are trying to get greater control of the income gained from hunting licenses, bypassing the regional government offices which have traditionally managed these revenues. And now, local economists want to understand if this is working to the benefit of the community, and if it’s enhancing their welfare.


        Wildlife: an income stream for rural Zimbabweans

        When poorer rural families in Zimbabwe are able to collect bushmeat, it may allow them to increase their household income through selling the meat within their communities. This means that if policies help support communities’ access to wildlife, these can address poverty and decrease the inequality gap in these areas.


        Farmers are willing to pay for irrigation

        How can charging money for something that was free be a good idea for poor farmers? It turns out that pricing irrigation water will help improve Ethiopian farmers’ efficiency in water use, increase agricultural and food production, and make the population less vulnerable to climate change. One unique contribution of environmental economists is that they collect data from the field and then calculate what natural resources are really worth.


        Rural people must deal with threats to drinking water

        People in Central America’s rural areas will face a 20 percent decline of drinking water availability by 2050, estimates show. EfD researchers are now collecting information from 8 000 households in Nicaragua, Guatemala and Costa Rica. The primary aim is to map capabilities and obstacles for communities to adapt, and to provide community leaders tools and skills to respond to drier scenarios. EfD findings also support governmental adaptation policies.


        Research on energy use for poverty reduction reaches grassroots

        To make hydroelectric power work better in rural communities, EfD Tanzania researchers decided to have in-depth contact with the grassroots through community-based and civil society organizations. Findings from a study on management of the hydropower plants in the southern highlands region show that rural electrification has proven to boost farmers’ earnings: Electric power increases the processing and value addition of agricultural products, which helps farmers fetch premium market prices.