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Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution: The Crossroads of Forestry, Ecosystem Services and Wildlife

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NOVA PhD course of 5 ECTS, organised by Dr. Prof. Irmeli Mustalahti, University of Eastern Finland: School of Forest Sciences.
Dates and location: 20-24 Aug. 2018, in Joensuu, Finland.

This is the third 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.

Course information from the University of Eastern Finland - School of Forest Sciences

Content and Learning Outcomes
The course seeks to further the understanding of environmental conflicts and the possibilities of resolving them through collaborative management, mediation and participatory interventions. The course is both academic and practice-driven.

After completing the course, the student has

  • an understanding of environmental conflicts
  • developed skills to create collaborative management and participatory interventions
  • learned theoretical underpinnings and conflict analysis perspectives
  • devoped practice-oriented skills in assessments and interventions in conflict situations. 

The course will address natural resource conflicts that are familiar and topical for the course participants. These cases provide a real-world context for the course contents and development of practical skills. The themes include natural resource conflicts in the fields of forestry, nature conservation, mining and land use conflicts more generally. Students are expected to work with concrete conflict cases along the course program; they will special focus a case related e.g. to land use and forest management.

The course is constructed around a framework of environmental collaboration and conflict resolution, drawing from a spectrum of different possible interventions. It starts with introduction of collaborative management and participatory methods and continues with the theory and practice of collaboration, mediation and consensus building. It includes elements of interest-based negotiation theory at its core, and builds on the collaborative model of Consensus Building. 

After the course students will have skills to 

  • analyse conflict situations; 
  • understand types of intervention and their preconditions, and; 
  • match environmental conflict situations with appropriate response strategies; 
  • understand the principles of meditated negotiation as a conflict resolution strategy; 
  • participate effectively in collaborative multi-party processes.

Programme Outline
A more detailed programme will be published later in spring 2018

  1. Introduction to environmental conflicts
  2. Theoretical framework
  3. Student presentations on the pre-course readings
  4. Cases from Finland, Kenya, Mexico
  5. Applying theory in practice: one day field excursion to Ilomantsi
  6. Course evaluation

Pre-/Post-Campus Assignments
Pre-course reading materials will be available for the students. Please read the pre-course reading materials before the course. Those articles will help you to understand and follow the course. Students are expected to carry out literature search related to course topics. Lecturers will provide additional lists of literature. The deadline for final course diary will be one month after the course. In end of the final course diary, remember to evaluate your own course participation (credit 1-5) as well as reflect how you could use course learning in your future activities (max 1 page).

Evaluation Elements
Numeric evaluation scale ECTS 0-5, based mainly on the course diary, group works but also active participation during the lectures.

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
  • 60 hours pre-course tasks

Prerequisite Knowledge
This course is targeted to PhD students with research interest in natural resource management and conflict resolution in particular. We can also take MSc students who are interested in the topic and have a suitable background, e.g. in the fields 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 links in the margin for more information.

Upon registration, you must submit the following two attachments as PDF or Word documents:

1. Motivation letter. Describe why would you want to participate in the course. How will the course advance your studies/career? What previous knowledge have you gained on environmental collaboration and coflict resolution? Maximum length of the motivation letter is one A4 page, font 12 Times New Roman, spacing 1,5.

2. Curriculum vitae, preferably in Europass format.

Apply here

Costs and Practical Information
Please see information from the University of Eastern Finland - School of Forest Sciences.

Published 19. January 2018 - 12:18 - Updated 30. August 2018 - 14:57