Funded by
  • European Commission - FP7
Duration 36 months from 01/09/2009 to 31/08/2012

Coordinating organizationTop
  • CEAM - Centro de Estudios Ambientales del Mediterráneo
CMCC Scientific LeaderTop CMCC Project managerTop DivisionTop General aimsTop

The general objective of PRACTICE is to link S & T advances and traditional knowledge on prevention and restoration practices to combat desertification with sound implementation, learning and adaptive management, knowledge sharing, and dissemination of best practices. Specific objectives are:

  • To create an international platform of long-term monitoring sites for assessing and investigating practices to combat desertification.
  • To develop integrated evaluation tools to assess the cost-effectiveness of practices to combat desertification, taking into account changes in both biophysical and socio-economic properties, by synergistically exploiting the recent advances on assessment and evaluation methodologies and approaches.
  • To assess prevention and restoration practices to combat desertification for croplands, rangelands and woodlands, considering the impacts on socio-economic status, soil functions, biodiversity, and ecosystem services.
  • To identify and document best practices to combat desertification considering multiple purposes at different spatial (local to global) scales, and to establish cost-effective thresholds for the various management alternatives.
  • To develop education material and translational science strategies, and implement innovative participatory approaches to link science to society, to share and transfer evaluation methods and best practices, addressing and involving stakeholders at all levels, from farmers to local organisations, to national and international bodies.
CMCC RoleTop

The CIP division of the CMCC contributes to the socio-economic expertise of the consortium needed in WP2 (Assessment methodology) and will contribute to expert assessment scheduled in WP3 (Integrated Assessment, Training and Education).

Expected resultsTop
  • Working papers on assessment methods
  • Workshop on Assessment Methods for Prevention and Restoration Actions to Combat Desertification
  • IAPro, Integrated Assessment protocol Expert assessments of LTEMs’ prevention and restoration actions
  • Participatory assessment reports
  • Participatory assessment & knowledge transfer workshops
  • Stakeholder-created documentary educational videos
  • Synthesis report: “Best Practices to Combat Desertification. An Overview”

As for WP2, where most of CMCC’s activity is scheduled the foreseen activities are as follows:

  • The goal of this component is to provide methods for the socio-economic evaluation of the changes in the provision of ecosystem goods and services resulting from prevention and restoration actions to combat desertification. Some of these goods and services can be characterised directly by a market-use value, some other, although valuable for human well-being, by non-use values.
  • The assessment method will be based on the existing market and non-market valuation techniques (i.e. revealed or stated preferences, benefit transfer methods), and will be anchored to the inputs provided by the natural sciences, mainly from those disciplines providing information on the link between ecosystems and ecosystems’ services.
  • The economic valuation of restoration/prevention projects would follow in terms of benefits with respect to the situation without intervention, using the most suitable methodology (i.e. Cost Benefit Assessment, Cost Effectiveness Assessment, Multi Criteria Assessment) according to the spatial and temporal scale addressed (Nunes and van den Bergh, 2001, Nunes et al. 2003). The socio-economic component is intrinsically related to the biophysical components of the assessment protocol, notably with the assessment of the impacts of measures to combat desertification on the ability of ecosystems to provide the goods and services identified.
  • The main contribution of the economist is to evaluate the magnitude of these impacts, assessing them in terms of measurable changes on human welfare. For the socio-economic component of the assessment protocol, we will consider two different, although complimentary approaches: (a) On-farm valuation perspective: Which is this action worth for the farmers? Based on private considerations (e.g. water quantity); (b) Landscape valuation perspective: Is this action worth for the society? based on private and public value considerations (e.g. CO2 sequestration, biodiversity protection), and social cost benefit analysis.
  • The nature of the benefits to combat desertification, i.e. economic values, across these two levels of analysis are not the same. At the farm-scale, the valuation of measures is done according to a private valuation perspective, and thus only focusing on market priced goods and services, while the landscape perspective focuses on public/social welfare considerations, including the valuation of passive-use values.