International negotiations, economic and legal instruments for climate change mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity conservation”

Research support Economics and management of natural resources Multi-criteria assessments
There are many instruments that countries can use and combine to design their environmental policies. The EU has chosen to use, in particular, a cap-and-trade mechanism to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, i. e. a market for emission permits at European level with targets set at national level. Project-based mechanisms, such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), have encountered obstacles in forestry, particularly due to the risk of non-permanent carbon storage. However, project-based activities have found significant opportunities in the voluntary "carbon neutrality" markets and could experience a new dynamic following the agreement reached at the Paris Conference (CoP 21) in 2015. Among the instruments, REDD+ is particularly relevant to forested countries in developing nations. REDD+ is a technically complex mechanism, which does not have a stabilized architecture, and the linkage between the national and project levels is still an open question, particularly following the Paris agreement (CoP 21). Other instruments can be used for climate change mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity conservation: ecological taxation, payments for environmental services (PES), biodiversity compensation ("Avoid, Reduce, Compensate "), issues related to intellectual property rights on local knowledge and the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) mechanism. Within the framework of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, a land degradation compensation mechanism (Land Degradation Neutral) is under consideration. The financing of these instruments through markets, bilateral transactions or funds (sometimes financed by affected royalties) is a cross-cutting issue. The objective of the seminar is to give participants keys to understanding these instruments and mechanisms, their rationale, conditions for their effectiveness, country experiences in implementation, risks and possible perverse effects, and finally, possibilities for combining them in the framework of public policy mixes. This analysis of the instruments will be followed by a reflection on the concepts that can be mobilised (resilience, vulnerability, etc.) to think about climate change adaptation policies and measures.


By the end of the training, participants will be able to understand the key public policy instruments used around the world for environmental, natural resource and biodiversity management and climate change adaptation. They will be able to design public environmental policies based on the relevant use and combination of different economic and legal instruments.


Researchers, doctoral students, project managers, members of development and environmental NGOs


English or french


Training duration 5 days

Day 1:
  • The global ecological crisis: presentation of the dynamics of climate change, its effects (key figures), the erosion of biodiversity, problems of pollution and depletion of certain natural resources), the debate on sustainability and the green economy.
  • International environmental negotiations:

- Positions, stakes and prospects, the place of forests in the negotiations on climate, biodiversity and desertification: carbon markets, intellectual property rights, benefit-sharing, neutrality in land degradation, etc.

- The role of forests in the negotiations on climate change, biodiversity and desertification.

Day 2:
  • Regulatory debate - economic instruments
  • Ecological taxation and its various possible uses
  • Rights contracts within the framework of cap-and-trade systems (climate, fisheries, water...)
Day 3:
  • Project-based "carbon credit" mechanisms: the example of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and lessons learned from CDM projects
  • The REDD+ mechanism:

- History, from REDD to REDD+: the state of negotiations

- The issue of financing (carbon market or fund) and architecture (project, jurisdictional, national scale)

- Policies and measures within the REDD+ framework

  • Payments for environmental services (PSE)
Day 4:
  • Ecological/biodiversity compensation (regulatory and voluntary)
  • Intellectual property rights and the Agreement on Benefit Sharing (ABS) in the Convention on Biological Diversity
Day 5:
  • Introduction to the debates on adaptation: concepts of resilience and vulnerability, policies and measures in use, how to assess them.
  • Financing sustainable development and global public good
  • Review and training evaluation


  • Alain Karsenty (economist, specialist in environmental policy and economic instruments) will be the main speaker,
  • Abigail Fallot, economist, specialist in the adaptation and resilience of socio-ecosystems, will speak on various aspects related to her specialty
  • Sigrid Aubert, a specialist in environmental law, will speak on intellectual property rights and related topics


Good general knowledge and minimal scientific information on climate and environmental issues