The monetization of ecosystemic services / Three visions of the futures of forests in a changing climate: the epistemic commitments of forest scientists
Victor Lefèvre & Antoine Dolez
25 March - from 4 pm to 5.30 pm
- "The monetization of ecosystemic services", Victor Lefèvre
- "Three visions of the futures of forests in a changing climate: the epistemic commitments of forest scientists", Antoine Dolez (Article Antoine Dolez : HERE)
List of invited speakers
- Victor Lefèvre (https://www.ihpst.cnrs.fr/membres/doctorants/lef%C3%A8vre-victor)
"Three visions of the futures of forests in a changing climate: the epistemic commitments of forest scientists." - ANtoine dolez
Antoine Dolez, PhD in Sociology, Research Associate in SAGE (Societies, Actors, Government in Europe), Strasbourg University
This talk aims to analyze how forest scientists are envisioning forest futures and how they are anticipating the impacts of climate change on forest dynamics. To do so, I draw on the sociology of epistemic commitments to examine how forest scientists understand the anticipation of forest futures in a changing climate, i.e. what knowledge, what technologies and what knowledge infrastructures should be developed and financed in order to adapt French forests to climate change. With this in mind, I have built three ‘visions of the futures of forests’ which represent the various epistemic commitments of forest scientists.
These visions combine four elements:
1/ a way of conceiving the temporality of the future: linear or disruptive, predictable or unpredictable
2/ a conception of the forest to be known and the ‘ideal forest’ to be shaped. This entails both a knowledge project and an action project
3/ a commitment to the knowledge and technologies that need to be developed to better understand and manage forests
4/ an ‘ethos of anticipation’: how forest scientists perceive their ways of doing science, both as the creation of objective knowledge and as a profession and a cultural, social and technical practice.
This approach thus offers a sociological and socio-political understanding of the current organization of forest research, with an emphasis on the alliances and conflicts that arise from the scientists’ ways of conceiving their scientific practices. The ‘three visions of the futures of forests’ are as outlined below:
A/ the ‘Risky Future’: monitoring, anticipating and managing forests as techno-political devices to reduce climate change
B/ the ‘Disruptive Future’ of the impacts of global change on forests, which are considered as non-linear and stochastic ecosystems
C/ the ‘Historicized Future’ of forests as a result of historical processes and accidents with long-term dynamics
Article Antoine Dolez : HERE
The monetization of ecosystemic services - Victor Lefèvre
From Costanza et al. (1998) economists and ecologists have published an extensive literature on the assessment of the monetary value of ecosystem services. Following this economic assessment, it has been proposed to create a market of ecosystem services (cf Maris (2014)). The main idea is to discharge the legal obligation of ecological compensation for the damage of one ecosystem by paying for the repair or development of an other. This project is hotly debated, mainly fought by environmentalist movements for ethical and political reasons. I propose to step aside for examining the issue on a theoretical point of view : are all conditions set for the commodification of ecosystem services ? Is it possible to built an efficient market of ecosystem services, a market with low costs of transactions and prices reflecting correctly the values of ecosystem services? Could we use biodiversity as an unit of account despite the plurality of values of ecosystem services and the sensitivity to initial conditions of many ecosystem models ? I will give some reasons to query the possibility of an universal market of ecosystem services which however don't imply to thrown away all the work made in environmental economy.