Cost benefit analysis in nature conservation and environmental policy Topic for Bachelor scriptie or Master thesis, Esther Turnhout Cost benefit analysis is a relatively new instrument in the field of forest and nature conservation policy. It is able to contribute to prioritizing and decision making by calculating the cost effectiveness of efficiency of different policy and management options and measures. In that way, cost benefit analysis supplements ecological science as important sources of knowledge in decision making. European policies, such as the Water Framework Directive and Natura 2000 require the use of cost-benefit analyis. The outcomes of cost benefit analysis have potentially far reaching implications, but the numbers on which is based are often highly uncertain. How can, for example, the benefits of nature conservation be calculated in a reliable way? This topic can take the shape of a literature review for a B.Sc. scriptie or can be expanded into a M.Sc thesis by means of a case study or other qualitative research design. The following research questions can be addressed: What examples can be identified, for example from the implementation of the WFD or Natura 2000, in which cost benefit analysis has been applied? How was it used and what was the impact on decision making What kinds of knowledge are used (or not) in cost benefit analysis? How are scientific reliability and usability guaranteed (or not)? To what extent do interest groups and local people participate in the development and use of cost benefit analysis?