Why join the course?
Increasing populations and social changes are pressurizing our relationship with the environment. Property rights are embedded in power structures and land management. This course explores the different ways that nature is perceived by different types of societies and the impact of property rights on natural resource management.
This course explores three approaches to the hierarchy of property rights and applies these to environmental use and management around the world. It also includes advice on producing a policy brief for an environmental issue.
What topics will you cover?
- Recognise the difference between the perspectives of the ‘giving spirit of nature’ and ‘controlling ancestor’ in our perceptions of nature.
- Understand the meaning of ‘reciprocity’ as a way of reducing risk in uncertain environments.
- Be introduced to Elinor Ostrom who developed a hierarchy of different types of property rights.
- Recognise different types of property rights and how they affect access to, and withdrawal of, natural resources.
- Appreciate the need for flexible property rights in areas with dynamic ecologies.
- Be introduced to the contrasting arguments of Thomas Malthus and Ester Boserup on population and agricultural production.
- Understand the concept of ‘more people, less erosion’ when higher population densities lead to better land management.
- Recognise the links between property rights and level of biodiversity in agriculture.
- Understand how ‘historical institutionalism’ of past laws affects current legal rights to natural resources.
- Appreciate the social asymmetries caused by the power to control access to natural resources.
- Recognise the importance of language for describing local systems of natural resource management.
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you'll be able to...
- Explain the difference in perceptions of nature between hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists.
- Explore the different 'bundles' of access rights associated with natural resource ownership, as described by Ostrom.
- Discuss Boserup’s theory that greater population densities can lead to improved land management.
- Summarise a key environmental issue and produce a briefing note appropriate for decision making.
Who is the course for?
The course is suitable for anyone with a general interest in environmental decision-making; no previous knowledge or experience is required.
If you are working in environmental management, or wish to learn more about it, this course is designed to support you as a professional. By completing all aspects of the course, you will have achieved 14 hours of CPD time.
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