alla studThe unique PhD-course “State of the Art in Payments for Environmental Services and Market-based Instruments”, attracted leading lecturers in the field and students from 12 different countries to Umeå.

- The assembly of highly accomplished researchers who gave lectures during the week was impressive, commented Brian Danley, PhD student from SLU Umeå. - As participants we benefited from a “who’s who” list of PES scholars personally explaining the main issues and challenges in this sub field of research. And his fellow student Jinggang Guo added that - The well-organized seminar presented a wealth of knowledge in an easy-to-digest format. The background, theory and practical application with the applied software were exceptional.

The seminar discussions proved particularly rewarding since participants were both young and experienced researchers with diverse backgrounds as well as practitioners, for example from the Swedish Forest Agency.

Professor Stefanie Engel from the University of Osnabrück (Germany) marked the beginning of the course with an explanation of what Payments of Environmental Services (PES) are and what challenges arise in designing effective PES schemes. During the following two days Professor Jan Börner from the University of Bonn (Germany) acquainted the students with the theory and practice of impact evaluation methods of PES schemes. He also gave insights into practical research projects in which he participated that aimed to analyze the effect of PES policies to prevent deforestation in the Brazilian forests. Next in line Professor Niels Strange, from the Department of Food and Resource Economics at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), dealt with structured environmental decision making which took participants on an excursion into behavioural economics. Finally, Professor Markku Ollikainen, from the Department of Economics and Management, Environmental and Resource Economics, at the University of Helsinki (Finland), concluded the week with intelligence from the Finnish trading program in nature values.
Jan BornerNiels StrangeMarkku Ollikainen
(From left to right: Jan Börner, Niels Strange and Markku Ollikainen. Missing from lecture photos is Stefanie Engel.)

In the first week of October, Associate Professor Göran Bostedt arranged the 5-day intensive course at SLU Umeå in collaboration with CERE, the North European Regional Office of the European Forest Institute (EFINORD), the Scandinavian Society for Forest Economists (SSFE), the Nordic Forestry, Veterinary and Agricultural University Network (NOVA) and the Department of Forest Economics at the Swedish University of Agricultural Science.

Besides a fruitful academic exchange, the course participants had the chance to experience Nordic cuisine and Umeå’s culture at the Guitar museum.