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The EEE Programme is a joint programme of research and training activities in ecological and environmental economics organised by ICTP (The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics), FEEM and The Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics.

From May 2002 to January 2006, ICTP (The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics), FEEM (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei), and The Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics, jointly run the Ecological and Environmental Economics – EEE Programme.

The core aim of the EEE Programme was to organise research and training activities with the final objective of enabling researchers from the developing countries to join the international academic network in the field of ecological and environmental economics.

The EEE Programme organised 30 workshops and capacity-building activities (6 in poor countries) and 38 seminars.

The main research results achieved by the EEE Programme were disseminated through the EEE working paper series (22 working papers), through the participation in international conferences (17 papers presentations) and through the publication of books (6 books) or papers in renown scientific journals (15 papers).

Dissemination also took place through the EEE Programme website.
In its 3 years of activity, 23 researchers (13 from developing countries) from many countries have worked within the umbrella of the EEE Programme.

The EEE Programme co-operated regularly with other research institutes, including the University of Hamburg (Germany), ABARE – Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (Australia), Potsdam Institute of Climate (Germany), CIRED – Centre International de Recherche sur l’Environnement et le Développement (France), the Man and Biosphere Programme of UNESCO (France), and the ICTP Physics of Weather and Climate Section (Italy).

The EEE Programme was also in close contact with the regional networks Resource Accounting Network in Southern and Eastern Africa (RANESA); South Asian Network for Development Economics and Environment (SANDEE); Latin American and Caribbean Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (ALEAR); European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE); Middle-East and North Africa Network on Environmental Economics (MENANEE).

The activities carried out by the EEE Programme concentrated in two main areas:

  • Dynamic ecological models and Indicators of sustainable development. Activities focused on the development of a theory for indicators of sustainable development for complex dynamic systems, of indicators of genuine wealth, economics of complex dynamical systems, non-market interactions and informal institutions. Relevant issues developed within these research areas were: economics of ecosystem resilience applied to soil and lake systems, environmental bifurcation and impacts on tourism (mainly marine), environmental indicators, and spatial issues (diffusion models for fishery, cultivation, grazing behaviour etc.). Special attention was given to a research programme on spatial dynamic models of economics and eco-systems. The idea underlying this research topic, a neglected field, was to explain both heterogeneity and modularity of the distribution of population within space. To date, such models have never included human population. However, population harvesting in one location, not only has implications for the site itself, but also has implications for the subsequent distribution of populations over the space husbanding the resources in question. An exciting theme for research was the development of policy analysis in spatial ecosystem models. The findings would be a pre-requisite for developing management rules for those cases where the spatial dimension of resources is of particular significance.
  • Integrated assessment models. Activities focused on the integration between global climate models, regional models of climate impacts, and economic models to assess the economic consequences of climate impacts in a coherent framework. They addressed the socio-economic dimension of climate change, mitigation and adaptation policies, and focused on the economic (welfare) assessment of climate change impacts. IAM’s research strategy was characterised by:
  • focus on economic implications: development and updating of an existing data base and modelling structure (GTAP – Global Trade Analysis Project);
  • a flexible, “umbrella” project: incorporation and economic evaluation of different climate change impacts structured as parallel research;
  • co-operation with other research institutes to improve the quality of climatic information and physical impacts of climate change.

Researchers in this area concentrated their efforts on the study of climate change impacts to health, induced rising of the sea level, the world tourism industry, land productivity (water stress), land use, energy demand, and extreme events, amongst others. A recursive dynamic model was developed, and will be tested in order to understand its dynamic properties and whether it really produces better results. If this is the case, the next step will be to model the interaction dynamic between the economic system and the environment using a full dynamic approach.

On these two research areas a number of activities were organised that significantly contributed to the achievement of the final objectives of the Programme:

  •  to develop mathematical models in order to understand the interactions between physical, environmental and economic systems;
  • to provide an economic assessment of environmental problems and to design policies to address them;
  • to enable researchers from developing countries to join the international academic network in the field of Ecological and Environmental Economics.