Prof. Phoebe Koundouri: “My gratitude goes to all the world-class scientists, from all across Europe and beyond, who contributed to the thirteen interdisciplinary research and demonstration projects, as well as the three global initiatives that form the basis of this book : two FP7 European Commission DG Research and Innovation projects, MERMAID and TROPOS; two H2020 European Commission DG Research and Innovation projects, BLUEBRIDGE and COASTAL; three European Commission Interreg projects, AMARe, RECONNECT and Thal-Chor; six European Institute of Innovation and Technology Climate KIC projects, BL.EU. Climate, Deep Demonstration Project in European Ports, MEDFreeSup, Circular Learning Hub, Circular Economy (CE) in Smart Specialization Strategy (S3), and Western Balkan Circular and Climate Innovation-Beacons, as well as the three Global Initiatives: the 4-Seas UN SDSN Euro-Asian Initiative, the UN SDSN Global Roundtable for Sustainable Shipping and Ports and the United Nations Initiative for Climate Change Effects on Cultural and Natural Heritage.

These 16 projects and initiatives, some completed but the vast majority ongoing, form the “Sustainable Blue Growth” research domain of the cluster of the institutions I direct, which includes the ReSEES Research Laboratory of the Athens University of Economics and Business, EIT Climate KIC Hub Greece at the ATHENA Research and Innovation Center, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network-Greece. As a response to the climate crisis and its effect on marine ecosystems and coastal populations, the Sustainable Blue Growth domain is one of the many research domains of our cluster, and aims at establishing transformation pathways towards Sustainable Blue Growth, that will be supported by technically and socially innovative solutions. We focus on research, education, development and support of open access databases, innovation incubation and acceleration, and policy recommendations, while our aim is to engage all relevant stakeholders in co-designing a systems innovation pathway for the transition to socially, culturally, economically, environmentally, and geo-politically sustainable development in Europe and beyond, embracing seas and oceans.”


The Horizon2020-funded project SIMRA – Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas (2016-2020) developed an Evaluation Manual to better understand social innovation dynamics, disentangling their impacts on the economy, society, environment and institutions, and designing appropriate interventions.

Co-constructed by scientists and stakeholders, the Manual is thought to assist evaluators, practitioners, policy makers and scientists, in this task and it offers a full guidance on how to use, interpret and report results of the evaluation.




In the near future, the European oceans will be subjected to a massive development of marine infrastructures. The most obvious structures include offshore wind farms, constructions for marine aquaculture and the exploitation of wave energy. The development of these facilities will increase the need for marine infrastructures to support their installation and operation and will unavoidably exert environmental pressures on the oceans and marine ecosystems. It is therefore crucial that the economic costs, the use of marine space and the environmental impacts of these activities remain within acceptable limits. Hence, offshore platforms that combine multiple functions within the same infrastructure offer significant economic and environmental benefits. A key initiative in this context has been the launch of “The Ocean of Tomorrow” FP7 cross-thematic calls aiming at fostering multidisciplinary approaches and cross-fertilisation between various scientific disciplines and economic sectors on key cross-cutting marine and maritime challenges.

The latest book edited by Prof. Phoebe KoundouriThe Ocean of Tomorrow, Investment Assessment of Multi-Use Offshore Platforms: Methodology and Applications – Volume 1, develops and applies an integrated socio-economic assessment of multi-use offshore platforms in European marine locations in the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic coast. The book is based on the interdisciplinary research within the MERMAID project (EU-FP7) in developing and applying an Integrated Socio-Economic Assessment of the sustainability of Multi-Use Offshore Platforms, using the results from the natural and engineering sciences as inputs, boundaries and constraints to the socioeconomic analysis. The book, offers insights that result from a multi-disciplinary approach which combines a broad range of expertise in hydraulics, wind engineering, aquaculture, renewable energy, marine environment, project management, socio-economics and governance. The analysis follows views and assessment of world experts from all relevant disciplines from academia, big companies and potential investors that have joined forces in the MERMAID project.

MERMAID project was selected for funding in response to Ocean 2011 on multi-use offshore platforms (FP7-OCEAN.2011-1 “Multi-use offshore platforms”). It had a cost of 7.4 million euro and comprised of 28 partner institutes, including Universities (11), Research institutes (8), Industries (5) and Small and Medium Enterprises (4 SME’s), from many regions in the European Union. The project focused on developing concepts for the next generation of offshore platforms which can be used for multiple purposes, including energy extraction, aquaculture and platform related transport. MERMAID designed concepts of Multi-use Offshore Platforms that addressed different physical conditions in order to make the best use of the ocean space. Going from deep water (north of Spain) to shallow water with high morphodynamic activity (north of the Wadden Sea) and further to inner waters like the inner Danish/Baltic areas and the Adriatic sea changes the focus from a strong to low physical control of the environment. That made it possible to develop, assess and integrate different technologies but also to address site specific challenges concerning social, ecological and economic issues.

In end of 2017 the second volume of the Ocean of Tomorrow will follow on the socio-economic framework for assessing multi use off-shore platforms investments.  This framework results from the integration of the socioeconomic analysis of three FP7 funded projects under the call OCEAN.2011-1: Multi-Use Offshore Platforms, namely: MERMAID (Innovative Multi-purpose Off-Shore Platforms: Planning, Design and Operation), TROPOS (Modular Multi-use Deep Water Offshore Platform Harnessing and Servicing Mediterranean, Subtropical and Tropical Marine and Maritime Resources) and H2OCEAN (Development of a Wind-Wave Power Open-Sea Platform Equipped for Hydrogen Generation with Support for Multiple Users of Energy). The identified common ground for assessing off-shore platforms investments includes:  socioeconomic methodology, stakeholder methodology, data gathering and data analysis. The development of a common methodology is important because it will help to deliver consistent results for policy recommendations. This integrated methodology will be useful for the implementation of the Marine Water Framework Directive.



  • Christensen, Erik Damgaard, Marian Stuiver, Raul Guanche, Flemming Møhlenberg, Jan-Joost Schouten, Ole Svenstrup Pedersen, Wei He, Barbara Zanuttigh, and Phoebe Koundouri, 2015. MERMAID Project End Users Book (2015), ‘Go offshore: Combining food and energy production’. DTU Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark

The MERMAID project presents Go offshore – Combining food and energy production, a booklet which explains the most important outcomes from the MERMAID project.









The aim of this book is to offer a river-basin management plan which is directly implementable and consistent with the European Union -Water Framework Directive (EU WFD).The contributors, who are leading world experts in their respective fields, develop an integrated water resources management plan for the Asopos river basin in Greece which is economically efficient, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable. The program offers explicit technical and investment solutions, socioeconomic and legal instruments and recommendations for institutional restructuring. The introductory chapter describes the water situation in Greece and assesses the potential of timely implementation of the EU WFD. Special emphasis is given to the cost-recovery principle. Chapter 2 introduces the case study area highlighting the particular pressures and impacts as well as the environmental functions and values of Asopos River and Oropos Lagoon. Chapters 3 and 4 focus on the economic characterisation of Asopos River Basin in order to identify the economic sectors and social groups that will bear the cost and benefits of the implementation of the EU WFD. In particular, Chapter 3 presents the main water uses and pricing for water supply in the industrial and the agricultural sectors. Chapter 4 completes the baseline appraisal, presenting the details of water use by the residential and touristic sectors. The following chapters assess valuation and decision-making tools from a range of perspectives, including agricultural needs, valuing the impacts of industrial activity, the costs and benefits of environmental preservation and management. The water resources management plan is presented in Chapter 9; the concluding chapter offers recommendations on institutional changes and presents the lessons learned as resources applicable to other river basins in Greece and elsewhere. The book applies state-of-the art market and non-market valuation methods to estimate water demands in the residential, industrial, agricultural, tourism, environmental and health sectors and to balance these, over time and space, with water supply. Given the well-known challenge of managing natural resources in a way that maximizes and sustains social welfare, this book will provide an invaluable point of reference for applied researchers and policy makers working in water resources management.



This book does not only aim to present and analyze the Cyprus experience in water resources management, using both local and world experts in the field. It also opts to communicate this experience to other countries that can inform, develop and improve their water resources policies by understanding the strong and weak elements of the Cyprus experience.   The dilemma facing Cyprus—that of limited water supplies (both in terms of quantity and quality) in the face of steadily increasing water demand, coupled with a fragmented institutional structure of the water sector—is characteristic of most arid and semi-arid countries all over the world. Another common characteristic of Cyprus is that the water management administrative boundaries there do not coincide with the hydrological ones, while the ongoing political problem of the island creates significant administration problems.   Finally, Cyprus’s way towards implementing the EU WFD can be instructive for newly-accessing EU countries.




This book aims to show that economics in general and non-market valuation methods in particular, together with participatory and engineering tools, can facilitate the design and implementation of the different European policies in relation to mitigation of water stress. The results presented in this book derive from AquaStress, an EU funded integrated project, delivering interdisciplinary methodologies to help mitigate water stress problems. The project draws on both academic and practitioner skills to generate knowledge in technological, operational management, policy, socio-economic, and environmental domains.

The book is divided in three parts and as the AquaStress project, is case study driven. Part I begins with a review of the up-to-date use of non-market valuation economic methods in the design and implementation of EU water policies. Part II of the book proceeds to discuss and analyze participatory and engineering tools that can facilitate the determination of efficient water resources policies and the consequent implementation of the EU WFD, using case studies of test sites from Bulgaria, Italy, Morocco and Poland. Part III of the book, brings us back to the use of economic tools and focuses on policy appraisal through social cost-benefit analyses and the choice/estimation of the socially efficient discount rate to be used in such analyses. The book concludes with specific policy recommendations for all case-studies considered in previous chapters.

This work would be of most interest to water resources managers and policy makers as well as consultants working on the implementation of the WFD. It would also be helpful to students and scholars of water resource management.



In line with the Water Framework Directive, this book stresses the need for an Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) approach to balance the competing demands on water-domestic, agricultural, industrial, tourism and environmental/ecological- and promote economically efficient, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable water use in selected regions from Southern Europe, the Mediterranean and the developing world. Results from the research projects covered by this book, demonstrate that effective water management tools and decisions-making practices, are needed in order to complement integrated interventions for increasing the availability of supply and/or managing the growing demand for scarce water supplies. Further, the book attempts to bridge the gap between ideas and actions endorsed at the research-oriented environmental debate, and their translation into policy making structures and programs in developed and developing countries.



This innovative book is a compilation of state-of-the-art choice experiment studies undertaken in several European Union (EU) countries, including Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom. The case studies presented concern a variety of environmental, agricultural and natural resource issues – such as the management of water resources, forests and agricultural landscapes; conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage; noise pollution reduction and food labeling.The book highlights how the choice experiment method can be employed to inform efficient and effective design and implementation of various EU level agricultural and environmental policies and directives, such as the Common Agricultural Policy, Water Framework Directive, Forestry Strategy, Habitats Directive and food labeling systems. This book will be of great interest to researchers working in the fields of environmental, natural resource and agricultural economics. Academics and graduate students worldwide, as well as applied economists working in international and national organizations, would benefit from the cutting edge choice experiment applications presented in this book. International and national policy makers will also benefit from the information on the use and usefulness of the choice experiment method in informing efficient and effective environmental, agricultural and natural resource management policy making.



Water deficiency in many arid and semi-arid regions in Southern Europe is becoming a major constraint for economic welfare and sustainable regional development. These regions are characterised by high spatial and temporal imbalances of water demand and supply, seasonal water uses, inadequate water resources and poor institutional water management.

The aim of this book is to formulate appropriate strategies and guidelines for water management necessary for the formulation and implementation of integrated sustainable management of water resources. Lessons are learned from various case studies, which examine competing water use patterns, compare governance structures and how these have evolved in response to scarcity, and structural and non-structural instruments to address water deficiency.

Water Management in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions will appeal to policymakers in relevant countries as well as to scholars and researchers of environmental studies and economics.



This fascinating book outlines the fundamental principles and difficulties that characterise the challenging task of using econometrics to inform natural resource management policies, and illustrates them through a number of case studies from all over the world.

The book offers a comprehensive overview of the broader picture of the state-of-the-art in econometrics as applied to environmental and natural resource management. It includes a wide range of econometric techniques that can be used to inform natural resource management, while keeping a balance between methods and applications. Case studies have been carefully chosen to be of major concern in the arena of environmental policy, mainly in Europe (both EU member states and assessing countries), but also in the US and some developing countries.

Econometrics Informing Natural Resources Management will be welcomed by academics and researchers interested in the areas of natural resource economics and econometrics, and also applied econometrics.




The increasing scarcity of water resources (in terms of quantity and quality) is one of the most pervasive natural resource allocation issues facing development planners throughout the world. This problem is especially prevalent in less developed countries where the management of this valuable resource has become a critical policy concern. This authoritative new volume outlines the fundamental principles and difficulties that characterise this challenging task.

The authors begin by detailing the significant problems of water management which are specific to developing countries. In particular, they highlight the political economy of water management in the context of both pricing and institutional reform. Five case studies from a variety of developing countries extend these themes and examine other important issues such as water markets, irrigation and the measurement of groundwater scarcity. Finally, using Cyprus as an example, the authors demonstrate the manner in which improved water management policies can be implemented in a developing country. This final part serves to illustrate the policy solutions to the problems laid out in earlier chapters.

Government agencies, private consulting firms and NGOs working in the fields of water resource allocation and economic development will find this volume to be an enlightening read. Academics, practitioners and those who wish to be better informed about the role and value of water management in developing countries will also find this to be an invaluable source of reference.



In this report, we are concerned with the impact of the current system of residential stamp duty. Not only does stamp duty have an effect on the housing market, but it also discriminates between both different parts of the country and different household types. Because of the inefficiencies and inequalities of stamp duty the report also explores alternatives to the current system. We demonstrate that even modest reforms can generate significant improvements.







Summary Efficient pricing of a resource incorporates both marginal cost of extraction and scarcity rents. Since groundwater resources exhibit natural supply constraints, scarcity rents must be imposed on current users. Given the difficulty of establishing clear groundwater ownership rights, scarcity value frequently goes unrecognized and is difficult to estimate. This results in inefficient pricing and misallocation of the resource. This thesis builds on three different methods to develop appropriate theoretical and empirical models relevant for indirect estimation of these shadow scarcity rents, which we consider as the initial and most challenging step towards efficient groundwater management. Empirical analyses are based on economic and hydrological data from t he island of Cyprus, representative of semi-arid regions. Chapter 2 critically assesses previous theoretical and empirical attempts to derive the increase in social benefits from efficient pricing of groundwater and examines the potential for groundwater management. This potential is seriously challenged by Gisser-Sanchez’s Effect (GSI): i.e. net benefits from optimally managing groundwater are insignificant for all practical purposes. Chapter 3 attempts a reexamination of GSI by developing a dynamic model of adaptation to increasing groundwater scarcity, when backstop technology is available. Both groundwater scarcity rents and management benefits are derived by simulating the optimal and competitive-commonality solutions. Results point to the absence of GSI in aquifers facing complete exhaustion in the near future. Chapter 4 proposes a refinement of revealed preference methods of valuation, by combining the hedonic and travel cost methods, and applies the refined model to derive the willingness to pay for groundwater quality. It is claimed t hat hedonic valuation of quality attributes can be misleading when the exogeneity assumption, with respect to these attributes, to sample selection is violated. Hence, the simultaneity between hedonic valuation and sample selection is modelled in the context of producer behaviour and investigated empirically in the case of land demanded for use as an input either in agricultural production or touristic development. The empirical analysis suggests that failing to correct for sample selection results in a biased valuation of groundwater quality. In chapter 5 duality theory is employed to develop the distance function methodology of deriving shadow groundwater scarcity rents. The empirical application of the model involves estimating a stochastic input distance function from which the in situ shadow price of groundwater is derived. Chapter 6 concludes the thesis by comparing and contrasting the magnitude of groundwater scarcity rents and willingness to pay for scarce groundwater quality, derived from the models put forward in this research.

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