Joint course 1

Climate change and forestry: monitoring and policies

Course objectives:
This course focuses on enabling participants ability to apply scientific knowledge and reasoning to critically assess and discuss popular discourses on topics in the global policy debate within a selected topic of relevance to the forestry-development interface. The topic may vary from year to year; currently the course focuses on the relationships between climate change, forests and livelihoods from the impact of climate change on forest health and productivity to the subsequent related impacts on rural livelihoods in developing countries.

Course contents:
The first part of the course emphasises the biophysical and economic impacts of climate change on forests in tropical and sub-tropical countries. Central themes are changes in forest cover and composition, stocks and growth of timber and non-timber forest products, and associated economic impacts. The second part of the course emphasises the forest related impacts on rural livelihoods, with particular attention to the complex livelihoods of subsistence and small-holder farmers and their autonomous and planned adaptation options. The course also provides knowledge on trade-offs in order to enhance food and income functions and ecosystems functions at farm and forestry systems level.

Teaching and learning methods:
The course is entirely based on interactions in virtual space. Each theme is structured as a standard format e-module: (i) students study provided topic literature and complete a self-test multiple-choice exercise; texts and problems are continuously discussed online with module responsible faculty, (ii) students online discuss exercises with each other, facilitated by course responsible faculty and specially invited resource persons.

Examination:
Students are assessed based on their participation. Each multiple-choice test and online discussion is assessed and students awarded a percentage mark; their final mark is determined by the sum of percentages across the entire course. Marking: 7-scale. Internal examiner.

Competencies acquired:
(i) knowledge about climate change, forests and livelihood relationships, (ii) ability to critically assess and discuss discourses and evidence in this area, (iii) ability to assess how science is used in policy debates, and (iv) ability and experience in interacting and discussing in professional forums.