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The main objective of the PREM programme is to deepen and broaden the exposure of economic researchers and policy advisors in developing countries to the theory and methods of natural resource and environmental economics. It is envisaged that this exposure will, in turn, encourage effective policy change in developing countries, with the joint goals of poverty reduction and sustainable environmental management.  By strengthening the research capacity of developing countries, the PREM programme aims to provide more evidence in support of the poverty-environment link.

Introductory film:

Guiding principles

In its effort to meet the above objective in the most effective manner, the PREM programme follows a number of guiding principles.
These include:

• Not to ‘start from scratch’: PREM will preferably focus on projects with some preparatory basis or existing background information;

• South-South interaction: PREM will provide a link between similar research projects in different developing countries;

• Urgent policy-relevance: Participation of policy makers at the initiation, execution and dissemination stage of projects is an essential part of PREM;

• Invest in high potential: PREM seeks enthusiastic (younger) economists that are eager to gain experience in the field of environmental economics;

• Transferal of responsibility: Over time, more of PREM’s organisational tasks will be transferred to regional offices in Asia and Africa;

• ‘Learning-by-doing’: The most effective way to master environmental economics is to conduct policy-oriented research in one’s own region and field of interest.

Main activities

The main activities of the PREM programme will be:

• Research: Research and policy analysis in environmental and resource economics in developing countries, specifically focused on the relationship between poverty and the environment. To maximise capacity strengthening, the research projects are conducted in a collaborative setting with economists from both developing and developed countries.

• Training: This may include short courses tailored to the needs of specific projects, seminars or courses proposed by the regional clusters, or training workshops organised at a programme level.

• Outreach: Special emphasis will be placed on involving local policy makers and other key stakeholders in projects at an early stage, for example, through project steering committees, improved targeting, “versioning” and dissemination of research results. This will increase the likelihood of policy impacts.

Research themes

A new goal of the PREM programme is to specifically contribute to the poverty reduction strategies as defined in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) of the participant countries. As key instruments of (sub)national planning within a country, PRSPs can be very important in reducing poverty while maintaining or improving environmental quality. Therefore, we require the candidate organisation to clearly indicate how the proposed study would address issues discussed in their country’s PRSP.
Moreover, in order to provide a better understanding of certain aspects of the poverty-environment nexus, several priority themes have been selected. These include (see our brochure for a further explanation of the themes):

1. Inequality, gender and the environment;
2. International Trade, Finance and the Environment;
3. Economy-wide Policies and Sustainable Development;
4. Valuation and Evaluation of Environmental Benefits; and
5. Market-Based Incentives for Sustainable Resource Management.

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