Belpasso International Summer School


EAERE-FEEM- Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Catania
Belpasso International Summer School on Environmental and Resource Economics

The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Conservation

Belpasso (Italy), September 12th – 18th, 2010

Deadline for applications: May 1st, 2010

The European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE), the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) and the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Catania, with the sponsorship of the Municipality of Belpasso, are pleased to announce the Belpasso International Summer School on Environmental and Resource Economics for postgraduate students.
The 2010 Summer School will take place from the 12th to the 18th of September at Belpasso, a city in the Province of Catania, Sicily, Italy. The theme of this Summer School is The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Conservation.

Human well-being is strongly dependent upon ecosystem services provided freely by nature and its biodiversity. Many of these services are public goods, and as such they do not have a market price. As a result, their loss is often not detected by our current market system. In addition, a variety of pressures resulting from population growth, changing diets, urbanisation, and climate change is causing additional strain on ecosystem conservation (e.g. farm land from cleared forests) and this contributes to accelerating ecosystem degradation and biodiversity decline.
Therefore, it is crucial to evaluate the wide range of benefits deriving from ecosystem conservation, since the market system mainly rewards resource owners for the benefits of ecosystem conversion. Today, this line of reasoning is vividly reflected in the international policy agenda, and it is the approach taken by the ongoing global study The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity (TEEB) – a “major international initiative to draw attention to the global economic benefits of biodiversity, to highlight the growing costs of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, and to draw together expertise from the fields of science, economics and policy to enable practical actions moving forward”. Against this background, the present Summer School aims to address key issues regarding biodiversity, its role for the provision of ecosystem goods and services, and its value to human livelihoods.
We shall define a set of lectures plus a session on case studies presented by worldwide practitioners. The lectures will focus on (1) understanding of the role of biodiversity and ecosystems and services in human welfare, (2) determining the value of ecosystem goods and services and biodiversity conservation, with special emphasis on the use of non-market economic valuation tools, including value transfer methods; (3) cost-benefit analysis of alternative policy instruments, including payment for ecosystem services. Finally, the last set of lectures will address communications of real-case-studies from practitioners with international responsibilities in the conservation of biodiversity.


Giovanni Signorello, University of Catania, Italy
Paulo A.L.D. Nunes, University of Venice and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Italy
(School Coordinators)

Timothy Swanson, University College London, UK
The values of biodiversity.

John Gowdy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute New York, USA
Policy instruments, discounting and dynamics in cost benefit analysis.

Pushpam Kumar, University of Liverpool and TEEB Leader, UK
Valuation methodology for ecosystem services

Pere Riera, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
Choice models to value ecosystems services

Rosimeiry Portela, Conservation International, USA
From science to action: Translating research into sound economic and social policies

Anil Markandya, University of Bath, UK and Basque Centre for Climate Changes (BC3), Spain
and Paulo A.L.D. Nunes, University of Venice and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Italy
Climate change impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems services: the costs of policy inaction


The Summer School is targeted to postgraduate students. Admission is conditional on the presentation by each student of his/her doctoral work; therefore PhD students who want to apply normally need to be advanced in their PhD to have produced at least one substantive chapter, but not to have completely finished their thesis.

Application is restricted to 2010 EAERE members, both European and non European citizens. Given the highly interactive activities planned at the Summer School, the number of participants is limited to 15.
There is no participation fee. All applicants can apply for a scholarship.

For further information on application and funding please access the Summer School Website at or contact the Summer School Secretariat.

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1 Response to Belpasso International Summer School

  1. A.T.M. Rafiqul Hoque says:

    May I have the opportunity to get fund for attending the Summer school.Basically I am a forestry student of Bangladesh. I completed my B.Sc Honors in Forestry and later Masters degree from the same Department. (Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, Chittagong University, Chittagong, Bangladesh). In 2007 I finished my second masters in Chemistry, Biology and Environmental Sciences (University of the Ryukyus. Now I am a PhD student in the University of the Ryukyus, Japan. I shall be very happy and benefitted in my personal academic life if I get the favor of getting fund to attend the conference.
    A. T. M. Rafiqul Hoque
    Laboratory of Ecology and Systematics
    (Plant Ecophysiology Section)
    Faculty of Science
    Biology Division
    University of the Ryukyus
    Okinawa 903-0213

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