Scope and limits for market-based instruments in environmental governance. Public lecture with Erik Gómez-Baggethun

November 16, 2015 | 16:30 h - 17:30 h

ZEF organizes a public lecture with Erik Gómez-Baggethun of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research and a Senior Visiting Research Associate at the University of Oxford.

Mr. Gómez-Baggethun will give a talk on Scope and limits for market-based instruments in environmental governance: The case of ecosystem services

Date: Monday, November 16, 2015, 4:30 – 5.30 p.m.
Venue: Center for Development Research (ZEF), Walter-Flex-Straße 3, 53113 Bonn (see <link>map), right conference room, ground floor.

The session is chaired by ZEF senior researcher Jan Börner

About the speaker:  Erik Gómez-Baggethun is a Research Professor at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) and a Senior Visiting Research Associate at the University of Oxford. His research covers ecological economics and political ecology, with a focus on ecosystem services valuation and environmental governance. Erik was a lead author of the report ‘The economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity’ (TEEB) and chapter coordinator for the CBD’s report ‘Cities and biodiversity Outlook’ (CBO-1). He serves as vice president of the European Society for Ecological Economics, in the editorial boards of various international scientific journals, and in an expert task force of the International Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Abstract of the lecture:  The lecture is based on a paper recently published with Elsevier (<link fileadmin downloads file>download here) on “In markets we trust? Setting the boundaries of Market-Based Instruments in ecosystem services governance”.  A growing tendency to frame environmental problems as a failure to price ecosystem services has coincided with the rise of so-called “Market-Based Instruments” (MBIs). The aim of this introductory article to the special section “In markets we trust? Contrasting views on the performance and legitimacy of Market-Based Instruments in global environmental governance” is to promote critical reflection about the nature, scope and limits of MBIs in ecosystem services governance and to provide guidance on where the boundaries for the application of markets ought to be set. First, we examine the role that methodological assumptions and implicit normative positions play in shaping academic perception of the effectiveness and legitimacy of MBIs. Second, we examine MBIs in the broader ideological context and socio-political processes that have favored their development and implementation. Third, we test claims of the literature on MBIs against insights and data from case studies presented in the special section. Fourth, we discuss the scope and limits of markets in ecosystem services governance in the light of biophysical, institutional, and normative boundaries. We end with a summary of concluding remarks from the special section and by identifying critical tasks for the scientific and policy agenda on ecosystem services governance.

ZEF’s public lectures are free to enter and do not require any previous registration. We are looking forward to seeing you at ZEF on November 16!


Jan Börner

Prof. Dr. Jan Börner


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