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Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution: Tools for Analysis and Intervention: Case Mexico

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    Shutterstock, Jesus Cervantes

NOVA PhD course of 5 ECTS organised by Adjunct Professor Irmeli Mustalahti, University of Eastern Finland: School of Forest Sciences.
Dates and location: 15-19 Aug. 2016 in Joensuu, Finland.

This is the first course in the NOVA PhD course series "Environmental collaboration and conflict resolution" which is scheduled for 2016-2019. Complete list of courses in the series:

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.

Detailed information on the 2016 course

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 enviornmental 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.

Estimated Workload

  • 20 hours seminar
  • 20 hours lecture
  • 40 hours independent work
  • 10 hours other
  • + pre-course tasks (60 hours)

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. Please see the information and links in the margin for more information.

Apply here

Course webpage for the 2016 course with practical information

Published 15. April 2016 - 12:54 - Updated 9. April 2018 - 9:26