This course is provided by UNITAR for a FEE. 

Duration: 5 weeks, 04 May to 05 June 2015

Course Objective

At the end of the course, the participants should be able to:

  • Express a clear concept of governance and its guiding principles such as transparency, accountability, anti-corruption, environmental safeguards, corporate social responsibility, public participation, etc.;
  • Rate the quality of governance of revenues from their respective countries’ extractive industries; and
  • Propose a more sound management of resources from extractive industries for the improvement of economic performance.

This is an online course provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison through Coursera for FREE.

Duration: September 30 to October 28, 2015

Course Objective

Did you know that thousands of people could have been saved during the 2009 tsunami if mangrove forests had been protected…and that the boreal forest holds 40% of the Earth’s soil carbon…and that only 7% of forests are “rain forest,” but this biome holds 50% of the world’s species?  Did you hear that big cities like New York and Quito are mandating forest protection to save their city water supply?  This is only a handful of the questions you’ll find answers to in this Forests and Humans online course.

This course provides an overview of the geography, ecology, and economic importance of the world’s forest biomes.  You’ll learn how climate influences vegetation, and in-turn how forests impact global climate. You’ll meet scientists working to understand the astounding biodiversity and ecological complexity of forest ecosystems, and how these ecosystems support human life. We’ll discuss the threats to forest ecosystems around the world, and hear from the people trying to protect them. The course emphasizes the forest resources and services that humans depend upon, and how we can maintain these resources into the future. We’ll analyze the idea of “sustainability” when it comes to forest management, hear alternative viewpoints about what this word means, and discuss potential conflicts.  Finally, we’ll take a look at the many real-world programs in place at the global, national, and local level to sustainably manage forests.


This online course is provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison through Coursera for FREE. 

Duration:  January 26 to February 22, 2015

Course Objective

What is perceptive hunting? 

Perceptive hunting has to do with our expanded role in the ecosystem and how we participate in ecosystems as hunters. It is about taking into account the whole system that is affected when we hunt. Watch the MOOC intro video to learn more.

“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

Aldo Leopold, 1948. A Sand County Almanac. 

Hunting has been a core conservation management tool in the United States since its founding. Indeed, “perceptive hunters” believe hunting should contribute to conservation rather than hinder it. As conservation science has improved, so have calls for understanding the role of game species in ecosystems, as well as in regional politics and economics. Deer, pheasant and elk are cultural icons because of their value to hunters, and are also a source of persistent controversy because of their role in complex ecological and economic systems.

Aldo Leopold, author of A Sand County Almanac, accepted a chair in game management at the University of Wisconsin and published a textbook in 1933 marking the emergence of wildlife conservation as a professional discipline. The scientific and ethical foundations laid down by Leopold fostered the emergence of a unique model for wildlife conservation in North America.

This course will provide students with an understanding of the historical legacy of wildlife management and recreational hunting as a part of conservation, the role of wildlife in ecosystems, the importance of ethics in guiding management decisions and hunter choices, and the politics and economics of controversies surrounding game and non-game management, hunting, and conservation. We will also look at the emerging face of hunting today, and contemporary models of conservation. The content draws on the expertise and experience of scholars, researchers, managers, and citizens in the overlapping spheres of applied ecology, policy, environmental and natural resource management.

All learners and “perceptive hunters” are encouraged and welcome to participate, whether they are active hunters, hunting-curious, or simply nature enthusiasts. We especially invite all who pursue participation in the wild ecology of one’s place, who want to explore the American conservation model and Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic.

This online course is provided by UNEP and Cologne University of Applied Sciences through iversity for FREE. 

Duration: starts on 12 January 2015

Course Objective

This MOOC enhances knowledge and skills for tackling complex issues such as resilience and transformation, sustainable development, ecosystem management, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and how they can be operationalized. It will benefit disaster managers and practitioners, climate change adaptation professionals, development planners, project implementers and policy makers. The course will be delivered through a series of lectures and case studies, quizzes, peer-reviewed exercises, along with additional study materials provided to the students. Lectures will be available through videos as well as online documents and will be geared for students who may not have access to high speed internet so they can follow the course. Students will be provided the opportunity to enhance their critical thinking through real life and fictitious problem solving exercises. Each week will feature an international expert who will be available to respond to questions and interact with students.

What will I learn?

After completion of the course, the participant will be able to:

  • Define basic concepts of disasters, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and resilience.
  • Recognize key linkages between ecosystems, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
  • Recognize the linkages and overlaps between ecosystem based disaster risk reduction and ecosystem based adaptation.
  • Identify various ecosystem based tools in reducing disaster risk and climate change adaptation.
  • Identify key international agreements, organizations and initiatives related to disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation.
  • Apply concepts and tools of ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR) and ecosystem based adaptation (EbA).
  • Evaluate costs and benefits of different type of measures for reducing disaster risks.
  • Design your own ecosystem-based project for increasing resilience and reducing climate risks.

This online course is provided by University of British Columbia through eDx for FREE. 

Duration: 6 weeks, starts on 6 January 2015

Course Objective

Explore how people in developing countries depend on forests for medicines, wild foods, energy, livelihoods, and well-being.

About this Course

This interdisciplinary course explores the complex interactions between poverty, rural livelihoods, and forest resources in developing countries.  We will consider some of the dynamics that occur when impoverished people use forests in their daily lives. We will talk about the role of forests for medicines and wild foods, as sources of fuelwood and charcoal for energy, and other pressing topics that confront sustainable forest management such as the impacts of human health and diseases on forests. The course consists of modules on forests and livelihoods in developing countries, agroforestry, human health in forested environments, protected areas and their sustainability, small and medium forest enterprises (SMFEs), and  community forestry. Three cross-cutting themes (gender, tenure and forest rights, and climate change) will span all of the modules. This course will engage you in developing a deeper understanding of the fundamental importance of forest resources in the lives and livelihoods of people in developing countries. Participants from tropical and developing countries may have lived much of what we will talk about in this course, and your experiences will deepen our understanding of the course material. Participants not from a developing country will gain a much better appreciation for the multitude of ways that people in developing countries use forest resources. Weekly videos will be complemented by readings, quizzes, and links to online resources to help you explore current scholarship in this domain. A discussion forum will enable you to delve more deeply into these issues with other participants and the course staff. The themes covered in this MOOC are important to anyone working in international forestry.

This online course is provided by University of Florida through Coursera for FREE. 

Duration: 9 weeks, course has ended but course archive is available at Coursera

Course Objective

Protecting the state’s water from nutrient contamination depends on adopting best management practices (BMPs) for land and nutrient management in the urban and agricultural settings.  BMPs must be based on science and be practical and economical to adopt, while meeting society’s needs.