SUMERNET partners learned to use economics tools for assessing environmental projects

Through collaboration between the SUMERNET and Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), an introductory training on “Environmental Economics” was held in Ho Chi Minh City, 19 – 29 August 2013.


(c) 2013 Photo by EEPSEA

The course helped to equip participants to explain the linkages between economic activities and the environment; and to discuss theories and tools that can be used to understand and measure these linkages so that appropriate decisions on how to best manage the environment and natural resources can be identified.

This course is mainly tailored for research purposes. It discussed selected research topics related to key environmental problems in Southeast Asia such as payment for ecosystem services, environmental valuation, and climate change economics. These modules include theory, conceptual framework, case studies and research tools. After the course, several small research grants were offered to qualified researchers for starting research in these topics.

The SUMERNET partners viewed this course as being very useful for their daily work and future career. For those with an economics background, the content on environment valuation, ecosystem services and climate change can strengthen SUMERNET researchers’ ability to address environmental issues. For researchers with a background other than economics, the theory and tools introduced within this course helped them to see environmental research questions through an economics perspective.

Ms. Mya Lwin Lwin Aung from Myanmar said the content of this course was valuable for her studies and future career. A similar view was also offered by the other 18 SUMERNET participants. After this training, they intend to apply the tools learnt during the 10-day course into their daily work and to initiate new research projects with a strong focus on environmental economics. At the end of the course, these new ideas were presented for the small grant funding competition by EEPSEA.

Dr. Herminia Fransisco (EEPSEA) and Dr. Phan Khanh Nam (UoE HCMC) hoped that the participants will improve their future research work using the economic tools and continue collaboration with SUMERNET.

The SUMERNET partners’ participation in EEPSEA Introductory Training on Environmental Economic was financially supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Climate and Development Knowledge Network ( through SUMERNET.  In this course, 12 SUMERNET participants were sponsored by EEPSEA and 7 SUMERNET participants were by SUMERNET. The course was hosted and co-organized by University of Economics, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (UoE HCMC).

More information is available from the Sustainable Mekong Research Network (SUMERNET) at