Environmental Security and Sustaining Peace

Conflicts over natural resources and the environment are among the greatest challenges in 21st century geopolitics.  These conflicts present serious threats to human security at both the national and local levels. Natural resources and the environment can nonetheless serve as a vehicle for peace if managed in a sustainable and equitable manner.  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.

This 8-week massive open online course (MOOC) on Environmental Security and Sustaining Peace provides an in-depth introduction to the multiple roles that natural resources and the environment play in the onset, escalation, and resolution of, and recovery from, violent conflicts. Many of the considerations and approaches in this course are also relevant to understanding and addressing social conflicts around natural resources and the environment. 

The course will launch on March 1st, 2018. The course includes eight weeks of lectures and two additional weeks for catch-up, so it will remain open until May 10th, 2018. Students can enroll anytime. After May 10th, 2018 the course content will no longer be available.

Course materials are made available each Thursday and remain available for the duration of the course. All course components (videos, readings, and quizzes) can be completed at a time that is convenient for students and anytime before the course ends.

Course materials each week include pre-recorded lectures, readings, discussion questions, quizzes, and a final assignment. In addition, live webinars are offered throughout the course so that you can ask questions directly to instructors.




Course Structure

Time commitment: Approx. 2-4 hours per week

Cost: Free

Requirements: An internet connection.

Certificates: Students who successfully complete the course will receive a digital certificate of proficiency. In order to successfully complete the course, students must score an average of 70% or higher on the quizzes, all of which are multiple choice. Students who score 85% or higher will receive certificates of proficiency with distinction.

While this course is not credit granting, we encourage students to work with their own institutions to explore the option of granting credit for online coursework.

Questions about the course structure or requirements? Email the course team at enviropeace@sdgacademy.org or the SDG Academy team at sdgacademy@unsdsn.org. For technical questions about the platform, please email support@edcast.com.



Erika Weinthal
Richard Matthew
Marc Levy
David Jensen
Carl Bruch


The SDG Academy