The course aims to provide students with in-depth theoretical and practical skills for the management and governance of ecosystem services at the local, regional, national and international level. The coursehighlight and problematise the socio-economic and environmental perspectives of decision-making related to the environment and natural resources. It will also focus on the importance and limitations of the ecosystem services concepts for biodiversity conservation.
On completion of the course, the student should be able to:
summarize global projects, conventions, institutional frameworks, instruments and financing mechanisms addressing ecosystem services
describe different methods for analysing ecosystem services (i.e. the identification, assessment and valuation of ecosystem services)
describe policies and approaches to integrate knowledge about ecosystem services in decision-making in different sectors related to environment and natural resources
summarize and discuss the challenges and trade-offs that must be taken into account when implementing the ecosystem services concept in decision making
present possibilities and limitations of the ecosystem services concept for biodiversity conservation
identify important aspects of communication of ecosystem services
The course has a special focus on the management of ecosystem services and its relevance for strong, sustainable development. The course includes an overview of international and large-scale ecosystem services projects, such as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) and the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). These are studied in parallel with conventions, institutional framework, instruments and funding mechanisms (e.g. Payment for Ecosystem Services [PES]) dealing with ecosystem services. Analytical tools for identifying, mapping and valuing ecosystem services and their applications in practical decision-making are introduced and discussed. Different strategies for integrating ecosystem services concept in sectors dealing with natural resources are presented and discussed on the basis of practical experience of decision-making at various governance levels. Additionally, case studies on biodiversity conservation linked to ecosystem service concept are presented and analysed.
The teaching includes lectures, excursion, exercises, seminars and project assignments.
Written assignments and oral presentations (7 credits), exercises and seminars (5 credits) and presentation of environmental problem-solving (3 credits).
If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.