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Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution

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    Shutterstock, Tony Moran

NOVA PhD course series scheduled for 2016-2019. Each course in the series is of 5 ECTS.
Responsible for course series: Irmeli Mustalahti, Adjunct Professor, University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences.

Course Description
The course series addresses natural resource conflicts which may include nature resource, nature conservation, or land use conflicts in general. In addition to theoretical and methodological approaches each course presents a real-world case of conflict.

The 2016 course in Finland/UEF-F will deal with a forest conflict; involving indigenous people in San Pedro, Oaxaca, Mexico. The 2017 course in Denmark/KU-SCIENCE focuses on a Kenyan case; partners being the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies (WMI) at the University of Nairobi. The 2018 course in Sweden/SLU explores aspects of wild life conflicts in Scandinavia. The 2019 course in Norway/NMBU will inquire into barriers and potentials of collaboration in resource extraction in Bolivia and nature conservation in Norway.

The courses combine theoretical lectures, field excursions and PhD-paper discussion groups to create an interactive learning environment. Theoretical concepts are discussed in relation to the individual research projects of each PhD student.

Each of the four courses present a theoretical framework for exploring and analysing environmental conflicts. The first and second course focus on collaborative theory, conflict mediation, negotiation, and dynamics in conflict resolution The third course will develop the perspective of deliberative democracy and commons in conflictual nature management. The fourth course will consider barriers for collaboration by considering aspects of political ecology and knowledge generation in conflictual situations.

Programme Outline

  1. Introduction to environmental conflicts
  2. Theoretical framework - 6-8 lectures
  3. PhD student - paper working groups tutored by one lecturer (3-4 hours)
  4. Applying theory in practice: one day - Field excursion
  5. Course evaluation & information on next course

Pre-/Post-Campus Assignments
Pre-course reading materials will be provided. Students must submit a 3000 word paper before course that relates PhD project with the theoretical frame of the course, and revise the paper after the course.

Learning Outcomes
The students will learn to:

  1. Explore and analyze environmental conflicts
  2. Understand different types of collaboration and their precondition
  3. Understand the principles of meditated negotiation as a conflict resolution strategy and participate effectively in collaborative multi-party processes.
  4. Analyse barriers and potentials for collaboration and deliberation
  5. Analyse how socio-economic aspects and knowledge influence management conditions and decision making structures

Evaluation Elements
The learning outcomes will be assessed by the individual paper hand-ins, and by participation in the course.

Pedagogical Approach
The courses provide different theoretical frameworks examplified in real-world contexts, and time to reflect on own PhD project. This generates a more general capacity to analyze and address environmental conflicts.

Prerequisite Knowledge
Master level studies in field of environmental politics, forest policy and economic, environmental issues, social science or related natural resources governance. Or other advanced studies/practical experience in environmental conflict situations. All students need to submit a motivation letter and CV.

Admission for NOVA courses is handled by the course organiser/ the NOVA member institution organising the course.

Detailed information on each course in the series and information on how to apply will be available on each course's information web page. The information web page will be published on the NOVA website in the beginning of the year when the course is scheduled to run. Please see NOVA's course catalogue.

Published 1. August 2017 - 16:06 - Updated 14. June 2019 - 10:39