Is tourism in the Canaries sustainable and how does it impact local economy?

These are questions that the CERE guest researcher, Ana Lopez asks in her PhD work at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Growing up, Ana has been asking herself if it is possible to alter the tourism sector so it better preserves island unique environment. Even at a quick glance you get all information needed to observe that the landscape has changed due to tourism according to Ana: - If you take a closer look, especially in the south part of the islands, you find that the landscape has changed from infinite virgin beaches to an overconstructed landscape of hotels and apartments. Some of them quite near the sea and protected areas. These impacts grabbed my attention and made me wonder what the real impact of tourism and its emission was. Does the economic benefit of tourism compensate the negative effects of it? (Click on headline to learn more)

Ana Lopez in Ammarnäs
Ana Lopez presents her research in Ammarnäs. 

Without cheap electricity - no green industry

Green industry in Northern Sweden attracts a lot of investments at present. A battery factory i Skellefteå and a couple of "steel without coal" ventures in Boden and Luleå could provide as many as 10'000 new jobs in the area. Why this is happening in Northern Sweden is largerly down to the cheap electricity. Electricity that is planned to mainly stem from wind power in the future. However, what happens if the electricity price goes up? We asked CERE members Runar Brännlund, Bengt Kriström and Tommy Lundgren to answer that question. (Only available on the Swedish site)

Wanted: PhD('s) in Environmental and Energy Economics

Umeå University and the Department of Economics is looking for PhD students in Labor Economics and Environmental and Energy Economics.

Within the field of Environmental and Energy Economics it mainly evolves around two research projects:
“In the first, the purpose is to explore how demand flexibility at the electricity distribution level can be designed to reduce grid congestion and improve grid efficiency. Specifically, the research project is focused on the design of distribution tariffs that incentivize households to reduce peak demand, and on measuring households´ response to such incentives. In the second research project, the purpose is to explore the potential of solar power to support the transition towards a more sustainable society.”

Apply by May 2nd

Learn more about the positions and apply at umu.se.

How forest owners can be compensated for conservation

A new way of compensating forest owners that are required to set aside forest land for conservation could be  by a fund based on a production oriented fee. This system would also facilitate  a landscape view on forest management, which in turn would contribute to Sweden reaching their environmental goals, according to a resent study. 

In the article published in Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research we find researchers from SLU, Uppsala University and Bern University of Applied Sciences. One of them CERE's Göran Bostedt.

Read a news article on the study "Så kan skogsägare kompenseras för avsättningar till naturvård" only in Swedish 

The article

Bostedt, G., de Jong, J., Ekvall, H., Hof, A., Sjögren, J. & Zabel, A. (2021): An Empirical Model for Forest Landscape Planning and its Financial Consequences for Landowners. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 36 (7-8), 626-638.
https://doi.org/10.1080/02827581.2021.1998599 

How landowners can be encouraged to sequester carbon

A report recommends the government to provide landowners with financial support to increase forest fertilization and afforestation of abandoned agricultural land. The government should simultaneously create infrastructure for reverse auctions and trade in net coal storage. The report is written on behalf of the Swedish Environmental Protections Agency with the aim of analyzing various proposals on how the role of the forest can be strengthened in terms of carbon dioxide storage. (only available in Swedish)

Gong, P., Knutsson, A. och Elofsson, K. 2022. Styrmedel för att öka kolsänkor i skogssektorn. Naturvårdsverket rapport 7037, mars 2022

Pay for different kinds of ecosystem services

Provide incentives forest owners to manage forests for different ecosystem services. Put a “price” on carbon storage and biodiversity. Göran Bostedt and Runar Brännlund dicuss the solution in Ekonomisk debatt 1, 2022 (only available in Swedish).

Don't overcharge rural population

Climate and environmental policies must be allowed to be costly. However, there are no sound reasons to put a disproportionate burden on the rural population by overcharging. Subsidies to rural households would be reasonable whilst scrapping or reforming other general climate policy instruments.
Runar Brännlund and Bengt Kriström, vk.se, published February 18, 2022. (only available in Swedish)


Meet the whale watching expert; Guest researcher Chaitanya Suarez

Chaitanya Suárez RojasWith two masters and a PhD in her suitcase, Chaitanya Suárez Rojas left sunny Gran Canaria and landed in a snow white Umeå in February to learn more about Environmental Economics. CERE looks forward to learning more about her analysis of consumer and firm behavior when it comes to whale-watching tourism that made up her thesis.

After a bachelor’s in environmental sciences and a Master in Natural Protected Areas at the Autonomous University of Madrid, Chaitanya took a second Master this time on Coastal Management at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It was during the second master that she met Professors and CERE friends Carmelo León, and Matías González. They advised and encouraged her to do a PhD on Tourism, Economics and Management at the University Institute for Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development (Tides). She took their advice and defended her thesis “Whale-Watching Tourism in The Nautical Sector: Consumer Behaviour and Firm Prospects Towards Sustainability” last October. The thesis analyses the characteristics of both nautical tourism consumer and firms and finds a need for the nautical tourism industry to support animal welfare and environmental health as well as adopting a corporate ethical stewardship.

While doing her masters, she worked in both the Sierra Nevada National Park in Granada, Spain and the Los Flamencos Fauna and Flora Sanctuary in the Caribbean region of Colombia, quite the contrary to her present location. So how did she end up here? Tides and CERE have a close relationship and she met both Runar Brännlund and Magnus Lindmark and took part in a seminar they had on sustainable development that piqued her interest. “Here I expect to find common key issues and synergies that CERE and partner University Institute for Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development can research together”, says Chaitanya.

She also hopes to enjoy the snow during her three month stay and try all sorts of winter activities.

Learn more about Chaitanya Suárez Rojas

Google Scholar
Researchgate
LinkedIn

Thesis: Whale-Watching Tourism in The Nautical Sector: Consumer Behaviour and Firm Prospects Towards Sustainability

Considerable costs with power outage

The cost for industries when it comes to electricity supply interruptions are considerable. It also appears to increase over time, according to recent EFORIS report by CERE members.

“In 2016 the estimated cost of a one-hour outage for an average industrial facility in Sweden was approximately 23 times larger than the value of the electricity not delivered (SEK 9502 versus SEK 400), whereas the cost in 2004 was approximately 13 times the market value of the electricity not delivered.” The value of lost load in Swedish industry, EFORIS report 2021:787

The numbers varies across firms and sectors from about 120 and 105 times the market value of the failed delivery of electricity for an average motor vehicle firm to about five times the value in the pulp and paper industry. The production interruption is noticeable longer than the actual power outage according to the firms answering the study survey.

Read the report “The value of lost load in Swedish industry”, EFORIS report 2021:787 & CERE WP 2021-14.

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