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Length Length

7 modules released weekly, with a 2-week catch-up period

Effort Effort

2-4 hours per module

Price Price

FREE

Languages Languages

English

Video Transcripts Video Transcripts

English, Español, Português

Prerequisites Prerequisites

None

Requirements Requirements

An internet connection to access course materials

THE SCIENCE
The factors that determine the resilience of an ecosystem to human activities and

climate change

THE SCIENCE
CASE STUDIES
Use, preservation and management in regions including

the Brazilian Amazon and Bhutan

CASE STUDIES
TIPPING POINTS
What events will fundamentally alter an ecosystem and its ability to

support extant life?

TIPPING POINTS
TAKING ACTION
How communities and policymakers can preserve

local ecosystems

TAKING ACTION

Overview

This course is not currently running. It is scheduled to run again in the Summer of 2019. Follow the SDG Academy on social media to be notified when the course will open for enrollment.

If you examine our reliance on the Earth’s resources – and vice versa – you will discover a stunning tapestry of complex interactions between ecosystems and human life. From preventing the extinction of species (including plants and animals) to mitigating the effects of long-term environmental shifts, how do we ensure that our interaction with the world around us doesn’t leave it destroyed? In this course, you will learn the science behind ecosystem functioning, including extinction rates, desertification, and how their physical makeup has evolved with environmental shifts. You will experience the lives of local populations dependent upon these resources, from their economic activities to their societal norms. By the end of the course, you will be equipped with an understanding of diverse ecosystems and how responsible use of these resources is imperative to our planet’s survival.

structure

  • Pre-recorded lectures
  • Readings
  • Quizzes and final exam
  • Discussion forum
  • Live Q&A sessions
These live sessions allow students to ask questions and engage directly with instructors and leading practitioners in the field. The exact dates of these sessions will be announced early in the course.

Lead Faculty

  • Faculty Image

    Virgílio M. Viana

    FAS - Fundação Amazonas Sustentável  (Amazonas Sustainable Foundation)

  • Faculty Image

    Thomas Lovejoy

    George Mason University

  • Faculty Image

    Jeffrey Sachs

    Columbia University

  • Faculty Image

    Peter May

    Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro (Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro)

  • Faculty Image

    Emma Torres

    United Nations Development Programme

This course is for

Graduate students and advanced undergraduate students studying ecosystem management, forestry, sustainable development, economics, sustainable business and related fields

Practitioners in forestry, ecosystem management, conservation and related fields who are interested in the current science and research around use and preservation

Sustainable development practitioners – as well as private-sector actors, such as those who work in corporate sustainability and responsibility, land development or tourism – who need to understand responsible consumption and interaction with our ecosystems

Questions?

Course logistics and requirements

This course is not currently running. It is scheduled to run again in the Summer of 2019. Follow the SDG Academy on social media to be notified when the course will open for enrollment.

Certificates

Students who successfully complete the course will be eligible to purchase a verified certificate signed by the instructors.

syllabus

Module 1: Introduction to Terrestrial Ecosystems

1.1

Welcome to the Course

1.2

Introduction to SDG 15

1.3

Terrestrial and Inland Freshwater Ecosystems

1.4

Social and Economic Importance of Terrestrial Ecosystems

1.5

Human Dimension of Ecosystem Protection and Management

1.6

The Savanna Grasslands

Module 2: The Challenges Facing Terrestrial Ecosystems

2.1

Ecosystem Degradation

2.2

Ecosystem Conversion

2.3

Biodiversity Loss

2.4

Thresholds and Tipping Points

2.5

Fragmentation and Landscape Management

Module 3: Terrestrial Ecosystem Valuation

3.1

Valuing Ecosystems Services

3.2

Payment for Environmental Services

3.3

The Cost of Inaction

3.4

Forest Certification

Module 4: Management Systems for Terrestrial Ecosystems

4.1

Protected Area Management I

4.2

Protected Area Management II

4.3

Agroforestry Systems

4.4

Sustainable Forest Management

4.5

Cross-Sectoral Issues: The Case of Small-Scale Gold Mining

Module 5: Designing Sustainable Ecosystem Programs

5.1

From Strategy to Action

5.2

Designing for Complex Landscapes

5.3

Designing Participatory Methods

5.4

Designing Sustainable Institutions: The Case of the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation

5.5

The Amazon Rainforest: The Bolsa Floresta Program

Module 6: Public Policies, Programs and Projects: Evaluation and Assessment

6.1

The Holistic Design of Public Policies for SDG 15

6.2

Evaluation of Public Policies for SDG 15

6.3

Evaluation of Projects and Programs Related to SDG15

6.4

Evaluation of International Policies Related to SDG15

Module 7: Enabling Institutional Environments for SDG 15

7.1

Partnerships for Implementing SDG15

7.2

Integrating SDG15 into Local, National and Development Strategies

7.3

Enabling Environments for SDG15: The Case of Bhutan

7.4

Financial Resources for Achieving SDG15

7.5

Technology: Latin American and Caribbean Regional Case Study

7.6

How SDG15 Links with Other SDGs

7.7

Putting This Course into Action