Ecological Economics and Environmental Management

ECOMAN researches in the fields of ecological economics and sustainability science. The focus is in the pursuit of interdisciplinary research to promote a deeper understanding of the interplay between ecological systems and social and economic development.

ECOMAN is engaged in the study of the dynamic interactions between individuals, society and the environment in order to derive social action towards sustainability. This includes shaping individual citizens’ behavior, fostering organizational sustainability performance, influencing economic agents’ choices and establishing development priorities and policies at different scales.

Research is directed to the definition of conceptual frameworks and approaches that can be applied to different sustainability problems. Recent work has dealt mainly with water governance, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services provision, spatial planning, technology assessment, sustainable consumption and economic growth.

Research topics include:

(1) Public policies for sustainability – innovative policy instruments; participatory design and evaluation of environmental policies and the role of institutions. Assessing the role of economic instruments in the mix of policies for biodiversity conservation, operationalization of natural capital and ecosystem services (ES) concepts for informing policy design processes, incentive schemes and market regulation mechanisms.

(2) Decision support, participation and science-society interfaces – participatory system dynamics modelling, multi-criteria analysis, policy-science-society interfaces and participatory valuation of ES. Topics addressed include sustainable consumption, river basin governance, integrated assessment of maritime policies, sustainable de-growth and assessment of ecosystem services.

(3) Sustainability assessment – of products, services and organizations; life‐cycle assessment; frameworks and indicators to measure progress towards sustainability. Development of sustainability assessment indicators and linkages with the green growth and de-growth debate.