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Special Issue "Ecosystem Services and Institutional Dynamics"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2015)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Géraldine Froger

CEMOTEV (Centre d'Etudes sur la Mondialisation, les Conflits, les Territoires et les Vulnérabilités / Centre for the Study on Globalisation, Conflicts, Territories and Vulnerabilities) - University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, 78047 Guyancourt, France
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Ecological Economics, Ecosystem Services, Institutional Economics, Environmental Policies, Governance, Biodiversity, Sustainable development
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Olivier Petit

Centre Lillois d'Etudes et Recherches Sociologiques et Economiques - University of Artois, 62030 Arras, France
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Ecological Economics; Governance; Institutionalism; Groundwater; Integrated Water Resources Management; Ecosystem Services; Interdisciplinarity; Sustainable Development; Environmental Risks

Special Issue Information

Dear colleague,

This Special Issue on “Ecosystem Services and Institutional Dynamics” is composed of a selection of papers which were originally presented during the 10th biennial conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics held in June 2013 in Lille. Ecosystem services, i.e. the material and immaterial benefits people obtain from ecosystems, has become a topic of increasing attention, over the past two decades, from both scientists and policy makers. This enthusiasm for such a concept can be understood, as an ideological option (commodification of nature), a pragmatic view at the (best) ways to conduct policies dealing with human–nature interactions—focusing on human well-being—or simply as a tool which has to find its place in the already existing toolbox. Various valuation methods have been developed or adapted to ecosystem services, ranging from monetary valuation to more sophisticated valuation/quantification methods taking into account more directly the incommensurable nature of human and natural capital (deliberative monetary valuation, multi-criteria analysis, integrated assessment). In parallel, an important development of policy instruments incorporating ecosystem services has been witnessed in recent years,. This Special Issue will deconstruct discourses and explore practices on the ground on all the above mentioned topics.

Prof. Dr. Géraldine Froger
Prof. Dr. Olivier Petit
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Keywords

  • Valuation methods
  • capabilities
  • indicators of poverty-environment
  • social perception
  • integrated management
  • institutional analysis
  • payments for ecosystem services
  • biodiversity offsets
  • ecological compensation
  • environmental regulation

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Market-Based Instruments for Ecosystem Services between Discourse and Reality: An Economic and Narrative Analysis
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 11595-11611; doi:10.3390/su70911595
Received: 28 April 2015 / Revised: 12 August 2015 / Accepted: 13 August 2015 / Published: 25 August 2015
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Abstract
Since the mid-1990s, the concept of ecosystem services has become increasingly popular in academic circles and among decision-makers. Because of its inclusive character, this concept has given rise to different interpretations in economics. Since its inception, it has been associated with the development
[...] Read more.
Since the mid-1990s, the concept of ecosystem services has become increasingly popular in academic circles and among decision-makers. Because of its inclusive character, this concept has given rise to different interpretations in economics. Since its inception, it has been associated with the development of market-based instruments (MBIs) in conservation policies. From this perspective, the sustainable provision of ecosystem services is hindered by market failures (e.g., public good attributes, externalities) and prices that do not capture the full value of the natural assets. MBIs are therefore recommended. According to their promoters, they provide powerful incentives to conserve the environment while at the same time offering new sources of income to support rural livelihoods. Our paper contends that different economic narratives, and associated representations of the market failure at stake with the provision of ecosystem services, may support different policy instruments that are all coined as MBIs. As an illustration, we analyze the economic discourse underlying payments for ecosystem services and eco-labels, and we underline the variety of institutional forms to which they give rise in order to emphasize the differences between discourse and practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services and Institutional Dynamics)
Open AccessArticle Local Knowledge of Pond Fish-Farming Ecosystem Services: Management Implications of Stakeholders’ Perceptions in Three Different Contexts (Brazil, France and Indonesia)
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7644-7666; doi:10.3390/su7067644
Received: 23 February 2015 / Accepted: 22 May 2015 / Published: 15 June 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (883 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article addresses ecosystem service perceptions in the case of pond fish-farming systems in Brazil, France and Indonesia. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment vision suggests a more integrated reflection on environmental policies with greater adaptability to local knowledge and the development of social learning
[...] Read more.
This article addresses ecosystem service perceptions in the case of pond fish-farming systems in Brazil, France and Indonesia. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment vision suggests a more integrated reflection on environmental policies with greater adaptability to local knowledge and the development of social learning processes, which tend to promote more sustainable changes in behavior and practice than do sanctions. This study considers a part of the identification of ecosystem services. It shows that perceptions differ with the context, and found few differences depending on the type of stakeholders (fish farmers and other stakeholders). From a methodological viewpoint, this paper opens up new prospects for valuing ecosystem services through a perception study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services and Institutional Dynamics)
Open AccessArticle The Biodiversity Offsetting Dilemma: Between Economic Rationales and Ecological Dynamics
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7357-7378; doi:10.3390/su7067357
Received: 27 February 2015 / Revised: 19 May 2015 / Accepted: 28 May 2015 / Published: 9 June 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (761 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although many countries have included biodiversity offsetting (BO) requirements in their environmental regulations over the past four decades, this mechanism has recently been the object of renewed political interest. Incorporated into the mitigation hierarchy in three steps aimed at avoiding, reducing and offsetting
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Although many countries have included biodiversity offsetting (BO) requirements in their environmental regulations over the past four decades, this mechanism has recently been the object of renewed political interest. Incorporated into the mitigation hierarchy in three steps aimed at avoiding, reducing and offsetting residual impacts on biodiversity arising from development projects, BO is promoted as the way to achieve the political goal of No Net Loss of biodiversity (NNL). The recent success of BO is mainly based on its ability to provide economic incentives for biodiversity conservation. However, the diversity of BO mechanisms (direct offsets, banking mechanism and offsetting funds) and the various institutional frameworks within which they are applied generate substantial confusion about their economic and ecological implications. In this article, we first analyze the rationale for the BO approach from the welfare and ecological economics. We show that both these frameworks support the use of BO to address environmental externalities, but that they differ in how they consider the substitutability issue and levels of sustainability with regard to natural and manufactured capital, and in how they address ecological concerns. We then examine the economic and ecological performance criteria of BO from conceptual and empirical perspectives. We highlight that the three BO mechanisms involve different economic and ecological logics and inherent benefits, but also potential risks in meeting biodiversity conservation targets. We lastly investigate the ecological constraints with respect to the BO practice, and economic and organizational limitations of the BO system that may impede achievement of NNL goals. We then reveal the existence of a tension between the economic and ecological rationales in conducting BO that requires making choices about the NNL policy objectives. Finally, this article questions the place of BO in conservation policies and discusses the trade-off between political will and ecological opportunities involved in the BO approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services and Institutional Dynamics)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Participatory Environmental Valuation: A Comparative Analysis of Four Case Studies
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9823-9845; doi:10.3390/su7089823
Received: 28 February 2015 / Revised: 16 July 2015 / Accepted: 20 July 2015 / Published: 23 July 2015
PDF Full-text (705 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The valuation of multiple ecosystem services requires the design of valuation processes able to integrate different dimensions of value and to cope with complexity. Following the “value-articulating institution” framework, we note that three core problems arise: the cognitive, normative and composition problems. Combining
[...] Read more.
The valuation of multiple ecosystem services requires the design of valuation processes able to integrate different dimensions of value and to cope with complexity. Following the “value-articulating institution” framework, we note that three core problems arise: the cognitive, normative and composition problems. Combining valuation methods, such as contingent valuation and multicriteria analysis, with participatory and deliberative techniques is increasingly promoted as a means to address those fundamental problems. However, the quality and legitimacy of the valuation process then becomes dependent on how participation is framed. We note that numerous issues need to be taken into account, such as the roles assumed by participants, the differences in contribution among participants, the level of participatory impact and the level of democratization of the decision-making process. This paper proposes a detailed qualitative analysis of four case studies, each of them having implemented a specific valuation method in a participatory process. We analyze how those cases were handled in each of the dimensions considered and offer our conclusions about the added values and remaining challenges related to participatory environmental valuation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services and Institutional Dynamics)

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