GV2EGS-Environment Governance for Sustainable Development

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Eirini Saratsi

Email: e.saratsi@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module provides students with opportunity to advance their understanding of key issues and concepts in global environmental politics and the international governance of sustainable development. It charts the development of environmental governance from a marginal position in society and academia to its current place in the intellectual mainstream. Working through key political concepts such as power, knowledge, ideas, justice and value, the module will explore tensions and controversies implicated in the governance of various aspects of the environment including oceans, waste, climate change, energy and biodiversity. Teaching is mainly delivered through a series of lectures and student-led presentations. Independent learning is further encouraged through carefully selected further reading.

To provide students with a broad-based understanding of contemporary environmental challenges such as deforestation, biodiversity conservation, ocean pollution, and climate change

To develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the interaction between environmental problems and global development trends.

To develop students’ awareness of the key ideas, actors and policy processes that shape environmental governance and sustainability at local, national and international levels.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of this module it is expected that students will have a good understanding of:

•The evolution of contemporary global environmental challenges, the nature of the effort being made to address them and the key challenges involved in the process.

•The inextricable relationship between economic development and environmental sustainability challenges

The key actors, policies and institutions addressing the relationship between environment and international development, what roles they play and what ideas and worldviews underpin their activities.

•The range of tools, polices and approaches for governing environmental sustainability as well as their strengths and weakness

•Future prospects for more effective governance of environment and development challenge at individual and political levels.

Additional outcomes:
By the end of this module, students will have greater confidence to undertake specialized Part 3 modules in human geography. Knowledge gained through this course will also reinforce understanding of a number of Part 2 modules.

Outline content:
Environmental governance has become a central aspect of international relations for sustainable development. One of the central challenges defining global environmental governance is the paradoxical relationship between economic development and environmental degradation. Economic growth is generally required to improve human welfare. However, economic development often entails the use of natural resources and can have negative consequences on the environment – which in turn can impede human wellbeing. At the same time, the benefits of global economic development and the negative environmental consequences are not always evenly distributed within and across nations. This inequity in the distribution of the benefits and environmental risks associated with economic growth contribute to the complexity of finding durable and widely accepted solutions. This course will analyse the interaction between environmental change and development through an interdisciplinary perspective. Drawing examples from air pollution, waste generation and disposal, deforestation, species loss and climate change among many others, the course will also examine the role of different actors and institutions in managing the environment-development challenge at local, national and international levels. Students will learn how power struggles, economic interests and contentions over value and knowledge shape the institutions and policies for addressing global poverty and environmental problems. They will evaluate the prospects for managing this challenge at individual, local, national and international levels.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This module is predominantly lecture based.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 2
Guided independent study 78
Total hours by term 98.00 2.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Portfolio 30
Oral assessment and presentation 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

1.5 hours

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 11 December 2018


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