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Market-based Instruments for Ecosystem Services

6 ECTS Padua Year 2 Semester 3 Compulsory Humanities


Students will acquire knowledge of principles and operational instruments for an innovative valorization of ecosystem services in a market-based perspective according to the type of ecosystem services and to socio-economic context of reference.

The course is organized into five modules:

  1. Introduction: what are Ecosystem Services; the economic values of ecosystem services
  2. Markets for provision ecosystem services (timber).
  3. The set of policy tools for the valorization of ecosystem services: mandatory and voluntary.
  4. Payment for Ecosystem Services: theoretical background: property rights theory/property regimes; PES basic concepts – PES typologies and examples; designing and applying PES; PES case studies in the field of water, Carbon, biodiversity, recreation/amenity and bundled PES. PES assessment: effectiveness, efficiency, equity and ethics.
  5. Commons and community forests.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will be able to design, operationalize and assess different mechanisms for responsible forest management according to the type of ecosystem services and to socio-economic context of reference.

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include:

– frontal lectures;

– class work including individual case-study analysis followed by class discussion, paper presentations – home assignments;

– seminars given by external experts;

– field visits to relevant forest areas/forest companies to see and discuss the implementation of theoretical concepts addressed during classes.

In the e-learning Moodle platform of the School teaching materials used in class and additional readings and media will be made available.

Type of assessment

  • Individual
  • Written exam, Oral presentation
  • The exam is made of two parts: a written essay on a topic chosen from a list and an oral test on all the topics presented during the course.

    The final grade is made up as follows: essay: 40%; oral exam; 40%; active class participation: 20%. Assessment criteria:

    – Essay: relevance (=connection with course topics), good conceptual framework, absence of relevant conceptual errors, overall consistency and coordination, matching of objectives with conclusions, presence of detailed literature review, awareness of problems and critical approach, accuracy in quotations;

    – Oral exam: knowledge of the topics, capacity to present and discuss them in a critical way, to place them in the correct context and to understand logic relationships with other topics of the course and, in general, with the other disciplines;

    – Class participation: active attitude in lectures and during class exercises.


  • Location : Padua
  • ECTS granting : University of Padua
  • Organisation : University of Padua