Mediterranean Sustainable Forest Management - An Institutional Economics Approach

30 ECTS specialization sub-programme at Portuguese Catholic University in Porto (Portugal):

Specialization Catholic University 2024

Some major features of Mediterranean forests make institutional factors very relevant in their sustainability:

  • Positive externalities are a major part of their output and some of their main threats, such as fires, are negative externalities, whose internalization needs appropriate institutional mechanisms;

  • in many places there land use conflicts (agricultural/forest uses, urban/forest uses) also calling for regulation through appropriate institutions;

  • being multifunctional systems, there is a need for institutional mechanisms where all the relevant stakeholders can cooperate to promote the different functions of forests;

  • to many persons and communities in the Mediterranean world forests have other values besides use and exchange values which are part of their collective identity embodied in local institutions;

  • finally, the institutional settings in which forest are owned and managed vary a lot around the Mediterranean world and this diversity has to be taken into account for a successful implementation of public policies and management guidelines aiming at sustainable forest management.

    This specialization is designed to train students:

  • in learning the economic concepts appropriate to analyze situations where collective action is needed to cope with social conflict and to promote sustainable development;

  • in applying these concepts to Mediterranean forests.

The sub-programme is organized in five courses:


  1. Economics and Management of Non Profit Organizations (6 ECTS)
  2. Foundations of Social Economics (6 ECTS)
  3. Governance of Mediterranean Forests (6 ECTS)
  4. Research Methods (6 ECTS)
  5. Sustainable Development (6 ECTS)