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.

Victoria Reyes-García receives an ERC Proof of Concept grant linked to the LICCI project

Victoria Reyes-García ICREA Research Professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) is one of the 76 top researchers that will receive ERC Proof of Concept grants.

ICTA-UAB demands the UAB to reduce number of flights

Given our current climate emergency, recently acknowledged by the UAB, the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has drawn up a proposal urging the University to put into action a new travel policy to tackle one of its most polluting activities: Flying.

New assessment finds EU electricity decarbonization discourse in need of overhaul

It’s well known that the EU is focusing its efforts on decarbonizing its economy.

ICTA-UAB to organize the International Conference 2020 on Low-Carbon Lifestyle Changes

ICTA-UAB will host the International Conference 2020 on Low-Carbon Lifestyle Changes with the aim of exploring the role of changing lifestyles in climate change mitigation.

Iron availability in seawater, key to explaining the amount and distribution of fish in the oceans

People tend to pay more attention to how much food they are eating, than with how rich their diet is in essential micronutrients like iron.

Mining waste dumped into Portmán Bay continues to release metals into the sea 25 years later

The waters of the Mediterranean Sea continue to receive dissolved metals from the mining waste deposited in Portmán Bay (Murcia) 25 years after the cessation of mining activity.

A new ICTA-UAB project to assess the impacts of micro- and nano-plastics in the tropical and temperate oceans

A new project led by ICTA-UAB researcher Patrizia Ziveri is one of five projects selected for funding by the Joint Programming Initiative Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans (JPI Oceans).

Big data reveals extraordinary unity underlying life’s diversity

Limits to growth lie at the heart of how all living things function, according to a new study carried out by ICTA-UAB researchers  .

Jeroen van den Bergh, awarded an honorary doctorate by the Open University of the Netherlands

The environmental economist at ICTA-UAB Prof. Dr Jeroen van den Bergh was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Open University of the Netherlands.

High lead concentrations found in Amazonian wildlife

Researchers from ICTA-UAB and the UVic-UCC detect high levels of lead concentration in wildlife samples from the Peruvian Amazon caused by lead-based ammunition and oil-related pollution in extraction areas.

Study gauges trees’ potential to slow global warming in the future

The Pyrenean forests, the Cantabrian coast and Galicia show an important potential to accumulate even larger amounts of carbon dioxide in the future and thus help to slow down the increase in CO2 concentrations which are warming the planet.

Why do environmentalists eat meat?

A study by researchers at the ICTA-UAB analyses the reasons why environmentally-minded scientists find it difficult to give up meat consumption, one of the world's greatest environmental problems.

La gestión del verde urbano permite incrementar la presencia de pájaros en las ciudades

Incrementar la biodiversidad del verde urbano permitiría aumentar la presencia de aves paseriformes en las ciudades mediterráneas, según un estudio científico realizado por investigadores del Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Ambientales de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) que analiza qué estrategias hay que implementar sobre la vegetación urbana para conseguir "naturalizar" las ciudades favoreciendo la entrada de flora y fauna.

The Ebro River annually dumps 2.2 billion microplastics into the sea

An ICTA-UAB study analyses the distribution and accumulation of microplastics from one of the main rivers of the western Mediterranean.
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: 

ICTA's Activities