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