Evidence-Based Policy-Making - Ph.D. Workshop 2014
In May 2014, the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center (PSC) organized a course on "Evidence-Based Policy-Making" as part of its Ph.D. program in plant sciences and policy. Holger Gerdes, Fellow at Ecologic Institute, supervised a group of Ph.D. students. A case study is available for download.
The Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center (PSC) organised this course to explore the different aspects related to the concept of evidence-based policy-making. Two similar courses had already been organized in 2010 and 2012.
The specific learning objectives of this year's course were:
- to understand the concept of evidence-based policy making;
- to get an overview of the various factors that influence policy-making aside from evidence;
- to learn about the possible advantages of a governance approach to environmental problems; and
- to get a basic understanding of the political and institutional issues that surround global environmental governance.
In this context, Holger Gerdes developed a case study entitled "Economic arguments for the protection of (sub)tropical biodiversity". The Ph.D. students were supposed to evaluate the relevance of environmental valuations in the policy process, focussing on biodiversity conservation in the EU's Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories. The findings were summarized in the form of a policy brief.
The specific objectives of the case studie were:
- to get to know available concepts and methods for the valuation of natural resources and their relevance for environmental policy-making;
- to apply these concepts and methods on a specific social-ecological problem in a local/regional context; and
- to understand the potentials and barriers for the uptake of environmental valuations by policy-makers.