Ph.D. Workshop on Evidence-Based Policy-Making (2012)
In March and April of 2012, 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.
After a first course on "Evidence-Based Policy-Making" in 2010, the specific objective of this year's course was to gain knowledge about instruments to communicate scientific research to policy-makers. The Ph.D. students enrolled in the course had to develop policy briefs on selected topics and discuss them with policy-makers.
Holger Gerdes developed and supervised a case study on the valuation of natural capital. The case study introduced the concepts underlying the economic valuation of natural resources. By applying the concepts and methods presented in the TEEB study on a specific environmental problem, the Ph.D. students had to assess the potential of environmental valuations to inform policy-making at the local level. Their assignment was to formulate a policy brief on "The Value of Natural Capital" [pdf, 500 kB, English] and to interview policy-makers with the aim of analyzing their receptiveness in regard to environmental valuation.
The specific objectives of the case study were:
- to learn about available methods for valuing natural resources and the relevance of such methods for environmental policy-making;
- to learn to apply the concepts and methods presented in the TEEB study on a specific social-ecological problem in a local context; and
- to understand the potentials and barriers for the uptake of environmental valuations by local policy-makers.