This research area focuses on motivations of the conservation activities that combine market and non-market motives. Economic research has shown that biodiversity has total economic values running into the trillions of Euros worldwide and hundreds of millions even for ‘minor’ ecosystem services on local scales. In spite of these immense values, politicians and the public in general do not appear to respond swiftly and effectively to prevent further biodiversity degradation. Why is that? What could really work to motivate publics and politics into action for biodiversity? Read more.
This research area aims to deliver new insights into how biodiversity values can be put to work in biodiversity governance at the local to the global scales, in particular through the following research lines:
- Agro-environmental payments in Walloon region for biodiversity conservation: Audrey Polard (past member)
- Multi-criteria assessment of sustainable animal farming systems in Europe for the LowInputBreed project: Helen Ding (past member)
- Collective actions at local level for the management and development of ‘cultivated biodiversity’, in France – network of Semences Paysannes - AgroBio Perigord Association: Fulya Batur (past member)
- Socio-economic study of the motivations behind successful biodiversity initiatives in Europe: Dimitra Manou(past member) and Jose Louis Vivero
- Modeling network goods in public good games and analysing the effect of intrinsic preference and coalition formation on the provision of natural goods: Paolo Melindi Ghidi (past member)
This research field explores stewardship and liability regime as an alternative to proprietary solutions for ownership over biodiversity and genetic resources. The institutional and legal dimension for managing biodiversity is fundamental, as it provides incentives for actors to engage and respect environmental friendly initiatives and regulations, and defines the framework where enforcement and compliance ensures an improvement of biodiversity indicators and enhances research. Read more.
In particular, we are developing innovative governance arrangements for the following research lines:
- Analysis of commons case studies in the field of genetic resources (plant, animal, microbial) within the GENCOMMONS Project: Arianna Broggiato, Dimitra Manou and Arul Scaria (past members)
- Proposing globally accepted templates of an access and benefit sharing agreement for marine genetic resources and a data license agreement for genomic data based on a combination of liability rule, viral license clause and a public domain approach for non-commercial activities under project MICROB3: Arianna Broggiato and Arul Scaria (past members)
- Research on alternative IPRs in agro-biodiversity for “mass selection”: Fulya Batur (past member)
- Geographical indications of origin for regional sustainable development: Nicola Lucchi (past member)
- Research on international law and governance of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in a global public good framework: Christine Frison
- Mapping the motivations of developing countries compliance with the CBD: Brendan Coolsaet.
Sustainability has become part of the mainstream policy discourse over the last two decades. However, despite its interdisciplinary approach, sustainability research is still a long way from genuinely integrating concepts and methodologies from ecology, economics and social sciences. A more thorough reflection on values and theoretical assumptions is needed in order to provide structure to this rapidly-developing field. Read more.
Our research unit contributes to this process by focusing on these key issues:
- Research on the capabilities approach developed by Amartya Sen and the wilderness concept in biodiversity ethics: John Pitseys (past member)
- Foundations of ecological psychology in William James’ philosophical pragmatism: Benjamin Six(past member)
- Epistemological and normative assumptions of sustainability research and environmental valuation: Florin Popa (past member)
- Development of a concept of nature compatible with contemporary quantum physics and evolutionary biology: Matthieu Guillermin
- Multi-criteria assessment of sustainable animal farming systems in Europe: Helen Ding(past member)
- Developing systematic approaches for research on environmental justice in the context of international politics of the environment: Brendan Coolsaet.