Global Environmental Management (30 ECTS credits)


Nov 8, 2013 (4 years and 6 months ago)



Global Environmental Management

(30 ECTS credits)

Approved by the Faculty Board June 19, 2009. Study plan approved by Rector July 1, 2009.

One semester full
time course


d Akershus
University College
of Applied Sciences
offers an international one semester full
time course (30 ECTS credits) in
Global environmental management

in Ghana, West Africa. The
course is offered twice per year, starting in August and January, in co
operation with Kulturstudi

The course is taught through an interdisciplinary approach incorporating elements of economics,
sociology, geography, social anthropology, environmental studies, and political science. It combines a
general introduction to environmental management

studies with a specific focus on the West African
region. The course activities (lectures, discussions, seminars, excursions, projects, assignments,
examination) as well as the literature are all in English.

Target groups

The program in

Global Environme
ntal Management

directs itself to:

Students who wish to include
environmental management
as a part of a bachelor’s degree

Professionals (teachers etc.) and others who seek further education in environmental issues.

Applicants must qualify for university

Admission requirements

Applicants must qualify for university admission in Norway.


The overall objective of the program is to give students an interdisciplinary understanding of
substantive issues of international environmental
management in general and in the West African
region in particular. These two dimensions are integrated in a mutually reinforcing way. The program
provides a basis for discussions, critical analysis and reflection on the causes and dynamics of
l problems and management of natural resources.

The program is designed to instil a balanced understanding of the theory and practices of
environmental management. More specifically the students should acquire knowledge of:

The political nature of import
ant contemporary environmental issues;

How economic, legal and social factors impinge on decisions and actions at the interface
between human activity and the environment;

The role of institutions, organisations and other stakeholders in managing and regul
human impact on the environment;

Ideas, perspectives and debates in environmental management and planning;

Challenges facing modern society in terms of the need to plan for a healthy environment
and to manage it accordingly for a sustainable developm


The interrelationships between economic and social development and impacts on the
environment at a variety of scales, and how to produce effective and implementable
solutions to policy and planning dilemmas

Skills and techniques designed to develop app
ropriate and implementable solutions to a
range of complex environment related problems


Course Structure

The course has a modular structure and is divided in three parts of equal status.

Module 1

Module 2

Module 3

Module title

Environment and

development: an

Political ecology

Project module







Individual essay

Individual essay

Group essay/

oral presentation

Module 1:
Environment and development: an introduction

The module will introduce students to the history of the environmental field since the 1960s. The
role of various milestone reports and events in this history will be discussed. Through this discussion,
the background to the concept of ‘sustainable develop
ment’ and the emergence of the field
‘environment and development’ will be presented.

Module 2: Political ecology

Political ecology originated in the 1970s, but its real expansion occurred in the 1980s and 90s. Today,
political ecology is a leading source of innovative research on issues linked to poverty and the
environment. The framework of the analysis in political

ecology is centered on the idea of a
“politicized environment”. It explores the main actors involved in this management and their
interests, aims, norms and narratives. This again leads into an investigation of power and power
relations in environmental m

Lectures and discussions in this module will deal with topics such as the theoretical roots and history
of political ecology, discourse and narrative analysis, winners and losers of global environmental
change, land reform, and community

conservation and its critique


Module 3: Project module

The module will introduce students to current environmental management issues and debates in the
West African region; their historical background, local and global implications, main
stakeholders, and
possible future developments.


The course in
Global environmental management
combines traditional lecture
based teaching
with workshop seminars, enabling students to discuss and work within smaller groups. Moreover, the
ching combines classroom methods, such as lectures and seminars, with practical sessions, such as
field research, project work and visits to relevant local institutions and areas of interest. The course
also includes field research trips and study visits t
o relevant institutions and areas of interest. The
field module provides an excellent opportunity to integrate the knowledge from the theoretical
courses and apply it to real situations.

The first part of the course is a 5
week web
based self
study. After this, the students leave for Ghana
to attend the regular course based on classroom teaching. The curriculum is covered by 30 two
lectures. Additionally a permanent teacher will hold
approximately 10 workshop seminars during the
duration of the course.

The last part of the course is a project module, during which the students form groups and write a
group assignment on a particular case/project/issue in the West African area. The pro
ject module is
conducted in cooperation with local academic organisations and NGOs and provides an excellent
opportunity for the students to integrate the knowledge and skills from the theoretical tutoring and
apply them to real situations of problem


Students are assessed by a combination of coursework, such as essays, reports, seminar
presentations, and examinations. Students are expected to take a proactive approach to their
learning. They are expected to plan and organise their studi
es, and take an active role in seminars,
class discussions, and making practice contacts and site visits.

In order to be eligible for examination the student must:

meet all course requirements

participate in all t
eaching activities and supervising
situations defined as required or

Details about deadlines defined will appear in the program’s study guide.

There will be a seminar on how to write papers. Here, the teacher will also suggest topics of
relevance. In addition, each group will be given supervision.



The following work requirement must be met before the examinations may be sat:

Introductory assignment
. This is a paper of approx. 1800 words (+/

10%) / approx. 4
pages, where students must demonstrate good understanding of the key concepts introduced
in the introductory part. At this stage, all communication between student and
teachers is
based on e
mail. The paper is to be submitted through e
mail before students go to Ghana. It
will be assessed within the following week and are evaluated as Passed/Not passed.


Work requirements must be met within fixed deadlines. Work
requirements must be meet also by
students with valid absence from classes documented by medical certificate. Students, who, due to
illness or other valid and documented reasons, do not meet the work requirements within the fixed
deadlines, may be given a
new deadline.

A new deadline for meeting the work requirements is in each
individual case given by the teacher of the course in question.

Work requirements are evaluated

Passed/Not Passed. Students who

the work requirements
within the fixed deadline,

but get the evaluation Not Passed,
are entitled to at least one, and
maximum two new attempts to fulfil the course requirements

A new deadline for meeting the work
requirements is in each individual case given by the teacher of the course in question.


Group examination and individual examination

At the beginning of their stay in Ghana the students form groups of 3
5 persons. The purpose of
these groups is both for them to work on current topics from the lectures and literature, and to fulfil
the group assignments. The on
site co
ordinator of the course (i.e. seminar leader) is instrumental in
forming the groups and supervising them during the writing process


As part of the project module, the groups cooperatively write a group assignment of approx.
6 000 words (+/

10%) / approx. 15 pages. This is a paper on a topic of each group´s own
choosing. The topic shall, however, be approved by the on

leader). Here, they shall combine perspectives from the literature and lectures, preferably
link up with empirical cases from the region, while drawing on literature that the group finds
The paper shall be submitted within the given dea
dline to
using the students O
UC/LUI email account. Also,
the contents of the paper are to be orally
presented to the class and teachers.

The group is given a mark (A
F) counting 40% of the final

result for the individual students.

Individual home

This is a paper of approx. 6000 words (+/

10%) / approx. 15 pages

where students shall
prove their analytical skills and understanding in the discussion of a given topic.

The topic of
paper is linked to the two first modules of the program, combining perspectives from the
literature and lectures.

The essay is to be submitted through e
mail to
using the student’s O
UC/LUI email


The assignment is given a mark (A
F) counting 60% of the final result.

Final Assessment

The students’ academic performance is assessed on the basis of the individual examination and the
group examination

(see above)

The student will be awarded a composite grade where the individual examination counts 60% and the
group examination counts 40% of the final mark.

An internal examiner appointed by Oslo
and Akershus
University College

of A
pplied Sciences

evaluates both individual home examinations and gr
oup examinations.

An external examiner

appointed by
and Akershus
University College

of A
pplied Sciences

will spot check the internal
examiner´s evaluations of individual home examinations to ensure the
quality of the censorship.

Grading scale

Grading will be according
to the ECTS
grading scale, with A
E as passing grades and F as a failing


Criteria for the different grades



General, qualitative description of grade



An outstanding performance. The assignment paper/performance
documents outstanding subject knowledge and

outstanding degree of
independence and ability in relating subject knowledge to the educational
goals of the course.


Very good

A very good performance, well above the average. The assignment
paper/performance documents very good subject knowledge and a high
degree of independence and ability in relating subject knowledge to the
educational goals of the course.



An averag
e performance. The assignment paper/performance documents a
fair level of subject knowledge and some degree independence and ability in
relating subject knowledge to the educational goals of the course.


Fairly good

A performance below average. The assignment paper/performance
documents a level of subject knowledge with some deficiency, and shows a
lesser degree of independence and ability in relating subject knowledge to
the educational goals of the course.



A performance satisfying the minimum requirements. The assignment
paper/performance documents low degree of subject knowledge, and shows
a low level of independence and ability in relating subject knowledge to the
educational goals of the course.


Not approved

The assignment paper/performance does not satisfy minimum requirements

New or postponed examinations

New or postponed examinations

are offered within a reasonable time span following the regular
examination. Students, who fail the individual home
may submit improvements on the
original paper in relation to
new or postponed examinations

the following term.

For later
sions the student must write a paper on a new topic. This also applies for students with valid
absences. Students who pass, but wish to improve their grade

must write a paper on a new topic.

In the event of re
sit exams regarding group examination, the ca
ndidates will be required to sit an
individual examination.
This is a paper of c. 4 000 words (+/

10%) / approx. 10 pages. The topic of
the paper is given by the program co

Regulations for
new or postponed examinations

are available in
Regulations relating to studies and
examinations at Oslo
and Akershus
University College

of Applied Sciences
. Students must register for a
new or postponed examination
. More detailed information
is available on the web site

Required Reading List

Module 1:
Environment and development: an introduction

Main book:

Adams, W.M, 2008
Green Development: Environment and sustainability in a developing

edition), London: Routledge. (380 pgs)

In addition, the following key texts and articles will form the basis for group work and will be
handed out as a course reader:

Hardin, G. 1968,
The tragedy of the commons
, Science 1628: 1243
8. (5 pgs.)

Ehrlich, P.R 1972,
The population bomb
, London: Routledge. (141 pgs.)


Meadows, D. H., D. L. Meadows, J. Randers & W. W. Behrens III. 1972.
Limits to
. Universe Books. Introduction, Chapter I & II (pgs17
88). (70pgs):

IUCN 1980
The world conservation

: living resource conservation for sustainable

International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources,
United Nations Environment Programme, World Wildlife Fund, Geneva. (50pgs)

Munro, David A. and Martin W. Holdgate

ds.) 1991.
Caring for the Earth:
a strategy
for sustainable living
, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gland,
Switzerland. Part I (pgs 8
86) and Part III (pgs.165
173). (86pgs)

Chasek, P., Downie, D., Brown, J. 2006.
Global environmental poli
. Fourth edition.
Chapter 1: the emergence of global environmental politics (pgs. 1
40). Cambridge.
Westview press. (40pgs).

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 2007.
Uniting on Climate:
A guide to the Climate Change Convention and

the Kyoto Protocol.

(40 pgs.)

Sidsen, S. (ed.) 2009. REDD and Indigenous Peoples.
Indigenous Affairs 1
Pages 4
19. (15pgs).
[Accessible at:


Secondary literature & web
based sources:

(Also make extensive use of the web
sources and links in Adams’ book at the end of each chapter.)

Sustainable development:

Mc Neill, D. 2000. The concept of sustainable development.

Chapter 1 in Lee, Holland and
McNeill (eds):
Global Sustainable Development for the 21

. Edingburgh University Press
(21 pgs).

World Commission on Environment and Development (‘the Brundtland Report’). 1987.
common future,
: Oxford University Press. (400 pgs.).

Sustainable Development and Ghana:

Agenda Xxi Ghana (hand out in class)

Climate Change:

Chasek, P., Downie, Brown. 2006. Global environmental politics. Fourth edition.
Cambridge. Westview press. Pgs 115
128 on Cli
mate Change.

Climate Change [
] and REDD [

Least Developed Countries Step
Step Guide For Implementing National Adaptation

Programmes Of Action, LDC Expert Group 2009 in collaboration with the GEF and its

Film: An inconvenient truth (evtl.?)


Module 2: Political ecology

Main Books:

Robbins, P. 2004
Political Ecology
, Oxford: Blackwell (236 pgs)

Neumann, R. P. 2002.
Imposing wilderness: struggles over livelihood and nature preservation in
Berkeley: University of California Press. Chapters: Introduction, 1, 2, 3, 6, Epilogue.
(ca. 160 pgs)

Course reader:

Benjaminsen, Tor Arve, Thembela Kepe a
nd Stine Bråten. 2008. "Between global
interests and local needs: conservation and land reform in Namaqualand, South

78(2): 223
244. (21pgs)

Benjaminsen, T. A., R. F. Rohde, E. Sjaastad, P. Wisborg and T. Lebert.
2006. "Land
reform, range ecology, and carrying capacities in Namaqualand, South Africa."
of the Association of American Geographers
96 (3): 524
540. (17 pgs)

Enzensberger, H. M. 1974. "A critique of political ecology."
New Left Review


Paulson, Susan, Lisa L Gezon and Michael Watts. 2003. "Locating the political in
political ecology: an introduction."
Human Organization


Vayda, Andrew P and Bradley B Walters. 1999. Against political ecology.

179. (1
2 pgs)

Walker, Peter A. 2005. "Political ecology: where is the ecology?"
Progress in Human

82. (9 pgs)

Walker, Peter A. 2007. "Political ecology: where is the politics?"
Progress in Human
369. (6 pgs)

Watts, M and
Peet, R, 2004, "Liberating political ecology", in: R. Peet and M. Watts
Liberation Ecologies,

London: Routledge, pp 3
47 (44 pgs)

Module 3: Project module

Main book:

Toulmin, Camilla 2009 .
Climate Change in Africa . London Zed books
(160 pp)

Course reader:

Tor A. Benjaminsen and Christian Lund (eds.) 2001.
Politics, Property and Production in the West
African Sahel: Understanding Natural Resources Management
Nordic Africa Institute;
Chapters 1, 8, 14, 15; (ca 100 pp)

Kuba, R. and
C. Lentz (eds). 2006.
Land and the politics of belonging in West Africa
. Leiden: Brill.
Introduction, Chapter 1, ch 6, 7, 8, 10. (ca 80 pp)

Mortimore, M. 1998.
Roots in the African dust. Sustaining the drylands
. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press. Ch
1, Ch2 (40 pp)


Havnevik, Bryceson et al. 2007.
African agriculture and the World Bank
, Uppsala: NAI (70 pp)

Kwadawo Osei
Tutu, John 2005. “ A conceptualisation of chieftancy and governance in
contemporary Ghana” Ch 8 in Hærnes, P. (ed).
The “Traditional
” and “the Modern” in West
African (Ghanaian) History.

Trondheim: NTNU (32 pp)

Arthur, Kwame 2006. “Rawlings former presidency: a threat to democracy in Ghana?”
pp 256

280 in Southall and Melber (eds)
Legacies of power

Uppsala: NAI (25 pp)

K. S. and O. Pabi. 2007. “Space, time, rhetoric and agricultural change in the
transition zone in Ghana”.
Human Ecology

35: 51
67. (17 pp)

Benjaminsen, T. A. and G. Berge. 2004. “Myths of Timbuktu. From African El Dorado
to desertification”.

Journal of Political Economy

34 (1): 31
59. (29 pp)

Benjaminsen, T. A. and B. Ba. 2009. “Farmer
herder conflicts, pastoral marginalisation
and corruption: a case study from the inland Niger delta of Mali”.
The Geographical
. (11 pp)

Fairhead, Jam
es and Melissa Leach 1995. “False forest history, complicit social
analysis: Rethinking some West African environmental narratives”. World
Development (13 pp)

Nyerges, A. E. 2008. ”Orthodoxy and revision in West African Guinea savanna
ecology”. in Walters
, B. B., B. J. McCay, P. West & S. Lees (eds)
Against the grain: the
Vayda tradition in human ecology and ecological anthropology
. Lanham: Alta Mira Press.
(17 pp)

Swift, Jeremy, 1996. “Desertification: Narratives, Winners & Losers”, in Leach, M.
and R. M
earns (eds)
The lie of the land: Challenging received wisdom on the African
. Oxford: James Currey. (17 pp)

Thébaud, B. and S. Batterbury. 2001. “Sahel pastoralists: opportunism, struggle,
conflict and negotiation. A case study from eastern Nig
Global Environmental

11: 69
78. (10 pp)

Readings on agri
development, land grab and REDD in West Africa? Selected (web
documents (TBA) ; ca 50 pgs. Patrick Agbesinyale (?)

Secondary literature and suggestions for further readings:


Baku, Kofi 2005. “The traditional in seeking the modern political kingdom in Nkrumah’s
Ghana” Ch 7 in Hærnes, P. (ed).
The “Traditional” and “the Modern” in West African (Ghanaian)

Trondheim: NTNU (30pp)

Nugent, Paul 2007 . “Banknotes and Symbo
lic Capital. Ghanas Elections under the Forth
Republic” pp 253

275 in Basedau, Erdmann & Mehler (eds)
Votes, Money and Violence

Uppsala: Nai (22pp)


Climate change and REDD:

REDD (Reduced Emissions Deforestation Degradation)Selected web documents (TBA)


Find other material

after Copenhagen maybe (?)

Biodiesel in Ghana:

(in Norwegian)

Land Grab:

Myths of Timbuktu

Show film perhaps