Newsletter Invaluable N°1

February 2013


The INVALUABLE project aims at studying the emergence of market-based instruments (MBIs) for ecosystem services and biodiversity. Taking stock of a multitude of understandings and perceptions by a variety of stakeholders on the very concept of MBIs, the project explores their theoretical background and related discourses.

Indeed, before reporting on the impacts, risks and opportunities of these policy instruments, it appears necessary to identify and further distinguish between contrasted categories of instruments with little common ground. Besides, the careful analysis of discourses associated to the realm of MBIs is also critical to improve our research, as it will enable partners in the project to shy away from ideological views carried by a number of stakeholders—to the extent that such neutrality is deemed possible in social sciences.

The Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Biodiversity (CBD) Conventions both held their COP in 2012, and have brought some interesting developments for the project. At the Climate COP18 in Doha, REDD+ was the central point of interest from our perspective as this mechanism pursues reduced tropical deforestation and as such represents a major opportunity for the maintenance of ecosystem services and biodiversity. It is presumably built on the premises of carbon markets as a source of sustainable and large-scale funding, and is more than often presented as a market mechanism that is performance-based at the national level. Yet the discussions on the appropriate “market-based approaches” include numerous types of incentives for conservation. Arguably, they leave space for direct payment schemes that differ—and might be disconnected— from carbon markets in many ways. In the end, it appears that the variety of market-based approaches will be reflected by a combination of instruments at all levels of policy making and action.

While international carbon markets are in danger, national and local levels will most likely be the fields of application of other types of market-based approaches. In this context, our research clearly needs to make substantial progress to inform future decisions on the implementation of REDD+ on the ground.

This Newsletter is organized as follows:

  • Results: Sociobosque program in Ecuador
  • Interview: Meine van Noordwijk (ICRAF)
  • Results: Are PES market-based instruments?
  • Methods: Research framework for WP2
  • Partners’ publications

Online access:
Download pdf: Newsletter INVALUABLE 1_February 2013