Advanced Course




Zaragoza (Spain), 17-21 February 2014


Objective of the course
Teaching organization
Guest lecturers

Objective of the course

The Mediterranean region is currently suffering a variety of growing environmental problems including soil degradation, water scarcity, water pollution and biodiversity loss. Traditional command and control approaches to deterring environmental degradation and associated environmental services loss have proven to be effective under given circumstances, but often existing legislation is unenforceable. This progressive deterioration represents a threat for human wellbeing, implying that decision makers and land managers need to find innovative solutions to avoid further environmental degradation. Market-based instruments and incentives schemes, particularly payments for environmental services (PES), are increasingly being proposed as a promising approach to address these problems. PES are not intended to replace command and control measures but to complement them. Furthermore, PES might be more flexible, help land owners to comply with existing regulations and raise additional funding.


In this course participants will be introduced to ways in which PES can be designed and implemented by taking into account the specific characteristics of the Mediterranean region. The course will provide state of the art practical knowledge needed to employ PES for the sustainable utilization and conservation of key natural resources including water, forest and biodiversity across spatial scales. Emphasis is placed on accessible methods and tools needed to set up PES schemes including: (i) ways to identify opportunities for PES; (ii) mechanism design and implementation processes; and (iii) the use of suitable indicators as well as low cost monitoring and verification approaches.


By the end of the course participants will:


-  Have a broad vision of combinations of policy instruments and innovative economic incentive schemes to fund ecosystem management.

-  Be aware of the opportunities for using PES for the conservation and management of environmental services.

-  Understand the applicability and limitations of PES under different social, economic and environmental circumstances.

-  Gain knowledge on current PES schemes, in the Mediterranean region and elsewhere, their design, implementation and monitoring strategies.

-  Acquire hands-on experience in assessing PES feasibility and designing financially sustainable PES schemes.


The course is jointly organized by the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), through the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (IAMZ), the Mediterranean Regional Office of the European Forest Institute (EFIMED) and the Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).


The course will take place at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza and will be given by well qualified lecturers from international institutions, universities, research centres and consulting firms in different countries.


The course will be held over a period of 1 week, from 17 to 21 February 2014, in morning and afternoon sessions.


The course is designed for a maximum of 25 professionals with a university degree. It is intended for decision makers, public sector agents, technical advisors, researchers, NGOs and other professionals involved in land use planning and natural resources management (water, forest, agriculture, biodiversity), interested in applying these economic schemes.


Given the diverse nationalities of the lecturers, knowledge of English and French will be valued in the selection of candidates, since together with Spanish, they will be the working languages of the course. However, if necessary, the IAMZ will provide simultaneous interpretation of the lectures.


Application forms may be obtained from:


Instituto Agronómico Mediterráneo de Zaragoza

Avenida de Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza (Spain)

Tel.: +34 976 716000 - Fax: +34 976 716001




Candidates should send the completed application form to the above address, accompanied by a detailed curriculum vitae, stating degree, diplomas, experience, professional activities, language knowledge and reasons for applying to the course. Copies of certificates should be enclosed with the application.


The deadline for the submission of applications is 25 November 2013.


Applications from those candidates who cannot present their complete records when applying, or those requiring authorization to attend the course, may be accepted provisionally.


Registration fees for the course amount to 450 euro. This sum covers tuition fees only.


Candidates from CIHEAM member countries (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey) may apply for scholarships covering registration fees, and for scholarships covering the cost of travel and full board accommodation in the Hall of Residence on the Aula Dei Campus.


Candidates from other countries who require financial support should apply directly to other national or international institutions.


It is compulsory for participants to have medical insurance valid for Spain. Proof of insurance cover must be given at the beginning of the course. Those who so wish may participate in a collective insurance policy taken out by the IAMZ, upon payment of the stipulated sum.

Teaching organization

The course requires personal work and interaction among participants and with lecturers. The international characteristics of the course favour the exchange of experiences and points of view.


The programme has an applied approach. Formal lectures are complemented with applied examples, case studies, debates and a role-playing game. Furthermore, during the course, participants will work in groups on a practical exercise, with the objective of applying the concepts and components needed to design and implement PES strategies based on data from case studies. This exercise will enable participants to put theory into practice and gain experience in applying these economic tools.


1.      Setting the context (3 hours)

1.1.    Rationale for managing ecosystem services

1.2.    Overview of policy tools for ecosystem management

1.3.    Role of market based instruments (MBI)

2.      Conceptual framework of payments for environmental services (PES) (7 hours)

2.1.    PES definition and types

2.2.    PES goals: efficiency, effectiveness, equity, sustainability

2.3.    Basic concepts

2.4.    Institutional aspects and governance

2.4.1.     Actors: beneficiaries, providers and intermediaries

2.4.2.     Enabling institutional environments: policies and regulations

2.5.    Practical work: role-playing game about water as a common pool resource

3.      Turning PES theory into practice: methods and tools (14 hours)

3.1.    Preparatory stage: identifying needs, opportunities and risks

3.2.    Mechanism design and implementation

3.2.1.     Spatial targeting approaches

3.2.2.     Stakeholder mapping and engagement

3.2.3.     Turning values into payments

3.2.4.     Contract design

3.2.5.     Long-term financial strategies

3.3.    Monitoring and verification: indicators and low cost methods

3.4.    Group work: designing a PES scheme

3.4.1.     Introduction to the work

3.4.2.     Working sessions

3.4.3.     Presentation of results and debate

4.      PES applications: case studies (7 hours)

4.1.    Regulating services: maintaining water quality at a local level – Vittel

4.2.    Cultural/provisioning services: mushroom picking payments at a regional/local level in Italy

4.3.    Biodiversity services: mature forest reserves at regional level in Catalonia

4.4.    Agrobiodiversity conservation services at local scales: quinoa diversity in the Andes

4.5.    Carbon related PES: rules and actors in the compliance and voluntary markets

4.6.    PES experiences in Brazil: linking local and national schemes

5.      Round table discussion (2 hours)

Guest lecturers

P. GATTO, Univ. degli studi di Padova (Italy)

E. GÓRRIZ, EFI Mediterranean Regional Office, Barcelona (Spain)

E. LÓPEZ-GÜNN, I-CATALIST S.L, Las Rozas-Madrid (Spain)

R. MAVSAR, EFI, Joensuu (Finland)

B. NEVES, FAO, Roma (Italy)

U. PASCUAL, Basque Centre for Climate Change, Bilbao (Spain)

D. PERROT-MAÎTRE, Consultant, Sallanches (France)

D. PETTENELLA, Univ. degli studi di Padova (Italy)

B. WILLAARTS, CEIGRAM, Univ. Politécnica de Madrid (Spain)

S. WUNDER, CIFOR-CGIAR, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)