• Course Code:  TE

  • Term:  Fall 2017

  • Start Date:  Nov 27 2017

  • End Date:  Jan 31 2018

  • Duration:  10 weeks

  • Course Author(s)
    The SDG Academy and Amazonas Sustainable Foundation

This course has ended

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From the Ground Up: Managing and Preserving Our Terrestrial Ecosystems

Fall 2017

  • Sdg academy website announcment
    The SDG Academy Team


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About this course

From the Ground Up: Managing and Preserving our Terrestrial Ecosystems is a new 7-week online course from the SDG Academy about sustainable use of our terrestrial ecosystems. In it, you will learn about the impacts of deforestation, climate change and more, with a particular focus on the human activities that affect these ecosystems. In studying the interplay of local communities dependent on these natural resources, you will emerge with a deep understanding of how to ensure the long-term health of our global ecosystems.


Course Structure & Requirements

The course launches November 27th, 2017. While there are only 7 weeks of course content, the course will remain open until January 29th, 2018. Students can enroll anytime! After January 29th, 2018, the course content will no longer be available.


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


Each Monday, course materials are made available and remain available for the duration of the course. All course components can be completed at a time that is convenient for students; quizzes can be completed anytime before the course ends.


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 at ecosystems@sdgacademy.org or the SDG Academy team at sdgacademy@unsdsn.org. For technical questions about the platform, please email support@edcast.com.


Course Syllabus

Module 1: Introduction to Terrestrial Ecosystems

1.1 Welcome to the Course

1.2 Introduction to SDG 15

1.3 Terrestrial and Inland Freshwater Ecosystems

1.4 Social and Economic Importance of Terrestrial Ecosystems

1.5 Human Dimension of Ecosystem Protection and Management

1.6 The Savanna Grasslands


Module 2: The Challenges Facing Terrestrial Ecosystems

2.1 Ecosystem Degradation

2.2 Ecosystem Conversion

2.3 Biodiversity Loss

2.4 Thresholds and Tipping Points

2.5 Fragmentation and Landscape Management


Module 3: Terrestrial Ecosystem Valuation

3.1 Valuing ecosystems services

3.2 Payment for environmental services

3.3 The Cost of Inaction

3.4 Forest certification


Module 4: Management Systems for Terrestrial Ecosystems

4.1 Protected Area Management I

4.2 Protected Area Management II

4.3 Agroforestry Systems

4.4 Sustainable Forest Management

4.5 Cross-sectoral Issues: The Case of Small-scale Gold Mining


Module 5: Designing Sustainable Ecosystem Programs

5.1 From Strategy to Action

5.2 Designing for Complex Landscapes

5.3 Designing Participatory Methods

5.4 Designing Sustainable Institutions: The case of the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation

5.5 The Amazon Rainforest: The Bolsa Floresta Program


Module 6: Public Policies, Programs and Projects: Evaluation and Assessment

6.1 The Holistic Design of Public Policies for SDG 15

6.2 Evaluation of Public Policies for SDG 15

6.3 Evaluation of projects and programs related to SDG15

6.4 Evaluation of international policies related to SDG15


Module 7: Enabling Institutional Environments for SDG 15

7.1 Partnerships for Implementing SDG15 

7.2 Integrating SDG15 into Local, National and Development Strategies

7.3 Enabling Environments for SDG15: The Case of Bhutan

7.4 Financial Resources for Achieving SDG15

7.5 Technology: Latin American and Caribbean Regional Case Study

7.6 How SDG15 Links with Other SDGs 

7.7 Putting this Course into Action


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From the Ground Up: Managing and Preserving Our Terrestrial Ecosystems


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