A new version of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Environmental Security and Sustaining Peace will be launched on 11 February on the SDG Academy Platform. The free 8-week course focuses on the role that natural resources, environmental degradation and climate change play in social conflict and peacebuilding dynamics.
Environmental peacebuilding has emerged as a new frontier in interdisciplinary studies. It offers a conceptual and operational framework to understand the positive peacebuilding potential of natural resources across the conflict lifecycle while mitigating potential risks. The course was developed by UN Environment in collaboration with UNDP, the Environmental Law Institute, UC Irvine, the Earth Institute, Columbia University and Duke University, and attracted 10,000 participants from 170 countries in its first year.
Conflicts over natural resources and the environment - locally and nationally - are among the greatest challenges in 21st-century geopolitics. The nexus of environment, climate change and security drew the attention of the UN Security Council just last week, and will be the subject of a high-level gathering of policymakers, experts and practitioners from the diplomacy, defence and development sectors at the 2019 Planetary Security Conference in The Hague on 19th and 20th February.
More important than ever therefore is the insight this course offers to the multiple roles that natural resources and the environment play in the onset, escalation, and resolution of, and recovery from, violent conflicts.
Registration for the course is now open. The course is in English, and also features video transcripts in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Mandarin Chinese.