ICTA-UAB economist Joan Martínez Alier wins the Balzan Prize for Environmental Challenges

Economist Joan Martínez Alier from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology  of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) is one of the winners of the 2020 Balzan Prize in the category of "Environmental Challenges: Responses from the Social Sciences and Humanities".

Indigenous People Essential to Understanding Environmental Change

An international research involving ICTA-UAB scientists shows how local and indigenous knowledge can help manage ecosystems and wildlife.

New publication in the MAGIC project takes a critical look at circular economy

With the world’s attention focussed on COVID-19, issues that were in the forefront of public concern just a few months ago seem to have magically disappeared.

Economic Benefits of Protecting 30% of Planet’s Land and Ocean Outweigh the Costs at Least 5-to-1

First-of-its-kind report involving ICTA-UAB researcher shows the global economy is better off with more nature protected.

ICTA-UAB awarded the "María de Maeztu” Unit of Excellence Award for the second consecutive time

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has been accredited a Maria de Maeztu Unit of Excellence Award for the second consecutive time by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Proyecto experimental de agricultura urbana, local y tradicional en Sabadell

El ICTA-UAB y el Ayuntamiento de Sabadell constituyen la comunidad FoodE, que reúne a todos los actores implicados en el sistema de producción alimentaria de la ciudad y en esta iniciativa.

What do we breathe when in the forest?

For the first time, a study characterizes the forest chemistry of the air under the canopy of a Mediterranean holm oak forest and detects maximum concentrations in July and August.

Catalonia's Scientific Contributions to Fighting Covid-19

Sixty ICREA researchers, including Isabelle Anguelovski of the ICTA-UAB, lead more than a hundred research activities on Covid-19.

Academia in the Time of COVID-19: Towards an Ethics of Care


Computer Platform Gives Visibility to Catalonia's Small Villages

A research team from the UAB, in collaboration with the Association of Microvillages of Catalonia, has created a Geographic Information System (GIS) for Active and Sustainable Hamlets (GISASH), which gathers information on the state of and services offered by the more than 330 municipalities in Catalonia with fewer than 500 inhabitants.

Environmental justice defenders victims of violence and murder

Grassroots movements halt environmental degradation in up to 27% of environmental conflicts worldwide, according to a study by the ICTA-UAB.

Technological changes and new low-carbon lifestyles, key to mitigating climate change impacts

In order to mitigate climate change impacts and achieve a more sustainable society, it is necessary to transform the current energy system based on fossil fuels into a model based on renewable energies.

Exploring climate change impacts through popular proverbs

Members of an irrigation community doing maintenance work in an acequia de careo (irrigation canal built at the top of the mountain) to improve the circulation of water for irrigation and human consumption.

Neolithic vessels reveal dairy consumption in Europe 7,000 years ago

Pottery from the site located in Verson (Francia) analysed during the research (Picture by Annabelle Cocollos, Conseil départemental du Calvados ou CD14 publicada en Germain-Vallée et al.

Economic growth is incompatible with biodiversity conservation

A study involving more than 20 specialists in conservation ecology and ecological economics highlights the contradiction between economic growth and biodiversity conservation.

Power struggles hinder urban adaptation policies to climate change

Transformative actions implemented by cities to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change may be hindered by political struggles for municipal power.

Analysis of tropical fire soot deposited in the ocean will help predict future global climate changes

The ICTA-UAB begins a scientific expedition in the Atlantic Ocean to collect dust and smoke samples from the fires of tropical Africa deposited in marine sediments.

Red coral effectively recovers in Mediterranean protected areas after decades of overexploitation

Protection measures of the Marine Protected Areas have enable red coral colonies (Corallium rubrum) to recover partially in the Mediterranean Sea, reaching health levels similar to those of the 1980s in Catalonia and of the 1960s in the Ligurian Sea (Northwestern Italy).

Sub-national “climate clubs” could offer key to combating climate change

‘Climate clubs’ offering membership for sub-national states, in addition to just countries, could speed up progress towards a globally-harmonised climate change policy, which in turn offers a way to achieve stronger climate policies in all countries.
Esteve Corbera, guest editor of a special issue on Payments for Ecosystem Services

Date: 2020-01-20

The journal Development and Change has published the special issue “Beyond Market Logics: Payments for Ecosystem Services as Alternative Development Practices in the Global South”. Guest edited by ICTA-UAB researcher Esteve Corbera together with Elizabeth Shapiro-Garza, Pamela McElwee and Gert Van Hecken, the special issue will be free to access and download through the end of February.

The eleven articles of the special issue take a deep and nuanced approach to analyzing the dynamics and outcomes of payments for ecosystem services (PES) initiatives in the Global South, from NGO‐initiated, small‐scale carbon offsetting on the steppes of Mongolia and watershed management projects in Colombia and Ecuador, to regional projects for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) in Indonesia and Brazil, to nationally scaled programs of the centralized states of Mexico, Guatemala, China and Vietnam.

This collection of articles fills a current gap in the literature on market-based environmental policies and programs, which has tended to either view these approaches through a technocratic lens in which slight tinkerings with the model are all that is needed to correct imperfections or through an entirely critical frame, understanding them as necessarily hegemonic impositions of neoliberal logics.

Taking a political ecology approach, each case represented in this special issue is analyzed with an understanding of PES initiatives, similar to other development projects and programs, as influenced by both global structural trajectories (e.g. capitalism, developmentalism or environmentalism) and the locally situated, historically defined and grounded practices of the actors involved. In this sharpening of our understanding of what PES is in practice and what it can become, we begin to see that certain components of the neoclassical economic model, while most certainly promoted and imposed through the global neoliberal political project, can afford and may allow for local interpretations and flexibility: the need for valuation of nature; the creation of institutions; and the negotiations that inevitably surround the distribution of benefits.

Together, this collection of articles provides deep insights into the ways and degrees to which subjects of neoliberal interventions are able to find ‘surfaces of engagement’ through which they can, to a greater or lesser extent, alter, adapt and, in some cases, create spaces for wholesale transformations of exogenously imposed models in conformity to their own aims and goals.

A special issue of the journal Development and Change, “Beyond Market Logics: Payments for Ecosystem Services as Alternative Development Practices in the Global South,” is available online: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/14677660/2020/51/1. 

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