CEEPA Research Strategy

The research strategy of CEEPA is guided by its vision and mission statements given below.

The Vision of CEEPA is that environmental degradation and its consequences for human well-being, especially among the poor cannot be halted and reversed without good scientific knowledge and understanding and adequate awareness of the interdependence between ecological and human systems. It embraces the view that environmental constraints pose an increasing challenge to economic development and human welfare and advocates the vital importance of economic principles and sound policy for sustainable resource use and environmental management. CEEPA believes that lack of adequate capacity to provide the scientific knowledge and information necessary for sound policy design and sustainable economic and environmental management is a serious limitation on the continent’s ability to breakthrough environmental degradation and poverty. Guided by this Vision, CEEPA defines the following Mission and Objectives for the center.

The Mission of CEEPA is to enhance the capacity of African researchers to conduct environmental economics and policy inquiry of relevance to African problems and increase the awareness of environmental and economic managers and policy makers of the role of environmental economics in sustainable development. 

Accordingly, CEEPA works towards the ultimate goal of creating a critical mass of African specialists well trained in the field of environmental economics and policy analysis to effectively contribute to and strongly influence strategic development planning and policy design for prudent management and use of natural and environmental resources and improved well-being of the people of Africa and the ecosystems that support their lives.

Environmental Management and Development Challenges in Africa 

Like all other economies of the world, African countries are highly dependent on their natural resource endowments and the well-being of their people is highly sensitive and vulnerable to the state of the natural wealth and the health of the ecosystems on which their lives depend. A major contemporary concern of many African countries is the serious resource depletion and environmental degradation problems they are currently facing and associated trends of increased poverty and declining human well-being conditions. One major factor behind our inability to effectively deal with and adequately address the said trends of decline is the poor understanding we have of the complex underlying processes and interactions between ecosystems and human society. Therefore the analytical frameworks and empirical models we develop and use to generate information and analyses to inform policy design and decision-making are deficient and quite often supply the wrong information leading to ill-advised and misinformed actions and management regimes.

Accordingly, CEEPA’s research strategy focuses on enhancing the capacity of African researchers and analysts to improve the quality of the scientific information and analyses feeding into decision-making and policy formulation aiming to contribute to more sustainable exploitation of natural resources and the environment for development and lasting improvement of well-being and reduction of poverty. The major objective of CEEPA is therefore to promote excellence in research in the field of environmental economics and policy. This is achieved through the provision of quality degree and non-degree training and support to high quality research in the field of environmental economics and policy.

Research Focus of CEEPA

The research focus and priorities that CEEPA seeks to nurture and pursue cover all attempts to investigate and study causes of economic and environmental decline and identify options available for their reversal. The desirable emphasis is placed on the development and/or use and application of environmental economics and policy analysis methods of integrated economic and environmental management and planning for sustainable development. The general elements and themes of a broader framework for undertaking theoretical or applied research of relevance to CEEPA’s strategy include:

  • Linkages between poverty and access to and dependence on natural resources
  • Improved indicators and analyses of sustainability, natural wealth and well-being
  • Institutional determinants (property rights regimes and governance systems) of ecosystem change (depletion and degradation of natural capital) and consequences for human well-being
  • Impacts of and adaptation to global environmental change with emphasis on climate change and agro-ecosystems
  • Valuation of ecosystem assets and services
  • Optimal management and extraction of natural resources (water, forests, wildlife, land, fishery)



Published by Linda Mahlalela

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