Issue no. 4 - Summer 2011




by Tim Swanson, the Graduate Institute

BIOECON is happy to announce the establishment of the annual BIOECON conference as a formally established network and symposium.  The 13th meeting of BIOECON is set to occur this September in Geneva, Switzerland hosted by the Centre for International Environmental Studies of the Graduate Institute – Geneva.  At the same time it will be announced that a Founding Partnership has agreed to establish the network and annual symposium for a period of at least three years.  These Founding Partners consist of Conservation International, FEEM, The Graduate Institute-Geneva, IUCN, and UNEP.  This group of conservation and academic organisations have worked together over the past years to provide BIOECON as an informal event and network, but have agreed to see the program continue at least through BIOECON XV.  We are grateful to them and to their participating scientists – for the enthusiasm and leadership provided over the years: past, present and future.

The network will continue to operate as a combination of Scientific Partners and Institutional Partners.  The Scientific Partners will provide the academic screening and leadership to ensure that BIOECON continues to provide scientific quality analysis and policy advice.  The Institutional Partners (including the Founding Partners) will provide the leadership in developing the issues and themes to guide the network toward policy relevance.

Together we hope that the network and annual meeting will provide a crucible for the careful analysis and discussion of all matters to do with the conservation of living resources.  We hope that in this way BIOECON is able to continue to contribute to the ongoing development of institutions and policies that are able to contribute to biodiversity conservation.

Go to the 13th BIOECON Conference Programme web page




Priority threat management to protect Kimberley wildlife

CSIRO, collaborating with scientists from ANU, UQ, the Wilderness Society and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy undertook a  a prioritisation of threat management in the Kimberley region of Australia, one of Australia's 15 national biodiversity hotspots.   The report identifies the key threat management actions required to restore and maintain functioning populations of wildlife in the Kimberley region, the level of investment required, and the likely improvement in wildlife persistence gained per dollar spent on each action. The focus is on actions that are technically and socially feasible and which abate specific mainland-based threats to wildlife, defined here as native vertebrate fauna (additional threats on the islands off the Kimberley coast were not addressed).  This project was participatory based, led by scientists in conservation decision appraisal bringing together a group of expert ecologists and land managers working in the Kimberley region.

 Download the report at:
 For more information contact:

From University of Stirling

As part of the Eco-Delivery project, annual international workshops, conferences and public university lectures are organized. The first conference was held on the 10th of December 2010 at the University of Stirling. The first international workshop was organized jointly with the London School of Economics’ Grantham Institute on Climate Change and Environment in London on the 4th and 5th of May, 2011. The workshop brought together experts from academia and policy to discuss about the state of Ecosystem Services in the EU and the key challenges facing their protection. As part of the Public Lecture series, noted ecological economist Karl Goran Maler gave a talk at the University of Stirling on the 23rd of May 2011.

Information pertaining to the events is found on the project website.


From University of VIGO

Published Paper
Strategic Behavior and the Scope for Unilateral Provision of Transboundary Ecosystem Services that are International Environmental Public Goods",  

by Julia M. Touza and Charles Perrings - Strategic Behavior and the Environment: Vol. 1:No 2, pp 89-117 (2011).

Abstract: This paper reports the implications of the current state of the art on the science of strategic behavior for the national treatment of different kinds of International environmental public good. While many environmental public goods are managed through multilateral environmental agreements aimed at building consensus over time (social norms), others are not. Many of the regulating and supporting services identified by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, for example, are not subject to agreement. The provision of these ecosystem services depends on the independent actions of many countries. For such environmental public goods it is important to have answers to these questions: Is it necessary to cooperate or coordinate with other countries in their provision? Will unilateral action provide a good-enough outcome? When can individual countries or small coalitions of countries enhance provision of environmental public goods? To answer such questions it is necessary to understand the nature of the environmental public goods, the socio-economic conditions in which they are provided, and the strategic interactions involved. With such an understanding, it is possible to estimate the likelihood that independent voluntary action may produce a ‘good enough’ outcome.

Download the paper

From Leuphana University of Lüneburg

The relationship between resilience and sustainability of ecological-economic systems

by Stefan Baumgärtner - Ecological Economics 70(6), 1121–1128

Abstract: Resilience as a descriptive concept gives insight into the dynamic properties of an ecological-economic system. Sustainability as a normative concept captures basic ideas of intergenerational justice when human well-being depends on natural capital and services. Thus, resilience and sustainability are independent concepts. In this paper, we discuss the relationship between resilience and sustainability of ecological-economic systems. We use a simple dynamic model where two natural capital stocks provide ecosystem services that are complements for human well-being, to illustrate different possible cases of the relationship between resilience and sustainability, and to identify the conditions under which each of those will hold: a) resilience of the system is necessary, but not sufficient, for sustainability; b) resilience of the system is sufficient, but not necessary, for sustainability; c) resilience of the system is neither necessary nor sufficient for sustainability; and d) resilience is both necessary and sufficient for sustainability. We conclude that more criteria than just resilience have to be taken into account when designing policies for the sustainable development of ecological-economic systems, and, vice versa, the property of resilience should not be confused with the positive normative connotations of sustainability.

Download the article


About the BIOECON Newsletter

The BIOECON Newsletter is prepared with the contribution of all the BIOECON Partner Institutions. Please send comments and questions to:
The BIOECON Newsletter is a six-month publication. Next issue: November 2011

Subscribe to the BIOECON Newsletter