State of the Art in Payment for Environmental Services and Market-Based Instruments

Senast ändrad: 29 december 2016

This course was offered in fall 2015, no plans at the moment to offer it in a near future.

PhD course given in collaboration with EFINORD, NOVA, the Scandinavian Society for Forest Economists (SSFE), the Centre for Environmental and Resource Economics (CERE) and Department of Forest Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and University of Copenhagen.

Syllabus approved: 2015-02-13

Subjects: Economics

Marking scale: Pass or Fail
The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.

The course is specifically aimed at Ph.D. students within the fields of economics and policy of the environment, forestry, agriculture and related fields. A solid understanding of microeconomics from undergraduate studies is required. Good knowledge in English is vital to be able to follow the course.

After the course the students are expected to:

  • Have an overview of issues related to Payments for environmental services (PES) and other Market Based Instruments (MBI) for enhancing the provision of forest ecosystem services.
  • Have good knowledge of the main PES and MBI instruments, as well as the experience of their applications in the Nordic countries.
  • Have insights into methods for selecting/prioritizing/evaluating the most efficient projects among several, and ability to reliably evaluate the impacts of a PES or MBI scheme.
  • Have insights into the potential trade-offs and synergies between the provision of different forest ecosystem services, both from the temporal and spatial perspectives.
  • Have an understanding of the challenges posed by different types of forest ecosystem services for designing and applying market based instruments.

Payments for environmental services (PES) and market based instruments (MBI) have attracted increasing attention recently as an important class of economic instruments designed to provide incentives for land users to supply environmental services to the benefit of society. Environmental services are many and include carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, pollution abatement among many others.

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the European Forest Institute's northern regional office, EFINORD, offers a PhD course in Payments for Environmental Services and Market-based Instruments. The course will provide PhD-students and other participants interested in the field of PES and MBI in natural resource management a general overview of the issues, and a deeper understanding of the major PES and MBI methods and applications (e.g. CDM or REDD) as well as the challenges and potentials of this field. The course will address general theoretical approaches and applied case studies, with a special focus on the Nordic countries. Some experience has been accumulated in the Nordic countries on PES schemes – this knowledge could contribute to policy formulation in developing countries.


The consists of three parts, the preparatory reading, the intensive lecture period, and home work assignment. The intensive lecture period takes place during a shorter period of 3-5 days at the Faculty of Forest Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden. The intensive lecture period includes a blend of lectures, group discussions, practical exercises, computer demonstrations, and social events. Students are expected to present their own research project during the course week, as relevant. Each accepted participant must send to the organizers a two-page note describing 1) the issues they work on of relevance for this course, 2) their expectations as to how the course may benefit them. There will be readings before the course start.

Additional details about the course will be distributed in due time.

Estimated workload

200 hours:

  • 30 hours lecture
  • 20 hours seminar
  • 150 hours independent work

Requirements for examination:
In order to obtain the 7.5 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) the participants should submit a max 10 pages paper applying suitable parts of the theory and methods to their own research, which will be reviewed for adequate queality by members of the lecturer group.


Maximum number of students: 20

Applications will be treated after the principal first in first served, as long as the applicant fulfills the prerequisites.


Responsible department

Department of Forest Economics



Other information

The department has the right to cancel a course if there are two few applicants.

According to regulations from the NOVA University network there is a tuition fee of SEK 2000 for this course expect for participants from universities associated with the NOVA and BOVA networks. To know if you are exempted from the tuition fee see:
Furthermore, all participants are expected to pay for traveling costs, housing and living expenses.

The tuition will be billed after acceptance to the course.


Course period: 2015-09-28 -- 2015-11-01

Lectures offered between October 5 and 9, 2015

Place: Umeå

Number of Credits: 7.5 ECTS