Environmental collaboration and conflict resolution: online course

Credits: 5 ECTS
Teaching language: English
Level: Master
Max. number of attendees: 25
Time: 17-21 August 2020. The course will start on Monday 17th at 9 am. The closing of the course will be on Friday 21st at 3 pm.
Host: University of Eastern Finland, Yliopistokatu 2, FI-80100 Joensuu
Forms of study: Virtual course: lectures, course diary, literature, group works. All students need to participate 80% of course sessions as well as actively carry out writing and reading outside of course sessions. If you cannot fully participate in all these course requirements, you cannot complete the course and get the ECTS credits.
Responsible teachers: Dr. Prof. Irmeli Mustalahti, Dr. Prof. Lasse Peltonen
Invited international teachers: Laurel Singer, MS, LPC, Executive Director and Steve Greenwood, MPA, Director of Training and Academic Services, National Policy Consensus Center (NPCC), Portland State University, USA
Contact:  Emma Luoma, emma.luoma@uef.fi

How to apply: Please send a letter of motivation and CV to emma.luoma[at]uef.fi by 15th June.
Course attendees will be confirmed already during the application period.

Due to the situation regarding to the coronavirus, we will provide a virtual course.

Course is part of the normal curriculum of Environmental Policy discipline at Department of Geographical and Historical Studies and organized jointly with three research projects namely MAKUTANO, ALL-YOUTH and CORE.

See the tentative course program here.

Target audience

This course is targeted to Master students. A suitable participant has Bachelor level studies in field of e.g. environmental politics, forest policy and economics, environmental issues, natural resources governance, or studies/practical experience in environmental conflict situations. Phd students are also welcome to apply.

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.

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 governance and participatory methods and continues with a closer look on the theory and practice of collaboration and consensus building. It includes elements of interest-based negotiation theory at its core and builds on the practices of collaborative governance.

Learning objectives

The participants will learn to:

1) analyze conflict situations;

2) understand types of intervention and their preconditions;

3) match environmental conflict situations with appropriate response strategies;

4) understand the principles of collaborative processes and meditated negotiation as a conflict resolution strategy; and

5) participate effectively in collaborative multi-party processes.

Reports from previous courses:

Environmental collaboration and conflict resolution: the crossroads of forestry, ecosystem services and wildlife. University of Eastern Finland, 2018.

Environmental collaboration and conflict resolution: tools for analysis and intervention. University of Eastern Finland, 2016.

Study materials

Pre-course reading materials will available for the students before the course. All course participants are expected to read through the pre-course reading materials before the course. Provided articles will help participants to understand and follow the lectures. All students are expected to carry out literature search related to lecture topics. Lecturers will provide some additional list of literature; which students could use for their further literature search.

Evaluation criteria

0-5 (based mainly on the group works but also active participation during the lectures)

Additional information

The course language is English. Write reflections after each course day (max 1000 words) and mainly discuss some key points as well as your reflections to these key issues discussed during the course sessions and in the material given by the teachers and search by yourself. The deadline for final course diary including all reflections written during the course 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 knowledge in future (max 1 page).

The course is organized in collaboration with following projects: