Academic Course Calendar - Natural Resources and Sustainable Development - 2016 - 2017

Courses and Teachers
2016 - 2017 - Natural Resources and Sustainable Development
Course listings are continously updated with new information
Courses Teacher Credits # Weeks Dates
UPEACE Foundation Course
Mandatory
Gal Harmat
(Israel)
Jan Breitling
(Germany)
Manish Thapa
(Nepal)
Mayumi Yamada
(Japan)
Mihir Kanade
(India)
Miriam Estrada
(Ecuador)
Ross Ryan
(Canada)
3 credits
3 weeks
22 Aug-09 Sep 2016
8:45 AM - 11:45 AM At Council Room
Environment, Conflicts, and Sustainability
Mandatory
Jan Breitling
(Germany)
3 credits
3 weeks
14 Sep-05 Oct 2016
8:45AM - 11:45 AM At Council Room
Water, Security and Peace
Recommended
Julie Ann Elkins Watson
(USA)
3 credits
3 weeks
26 Oct-15 Nov 2016
8:45 - 11:45 At Council Room
Forests, Forestry and Poverty
Recommended
Jan Breitling
(Germany)
3 credits
3 weeks
26 Oct-15 Nov 2016
1:15 - 4:15 At Classroom #4
Management of Coastal Resources
Recommended
Marco Quesada
(Costa Rica)
3 credits
3 weeks (NOTE: including double session on Dec 02
17 Nov-02 Dec 2016
8:45 AM - 11:45 AM At Classroom #4
Sustainable Agriculture
Recommended
Olivia Sylvester
(Canada)
3 credits
3 weeks
21 Nov-09 Dec 2016
8:45 AM - 11:45 AM At Classroom #2
Disaster Risk Reduction
Recommended
Urbano Fra
(Spain)
3 credits
3 weeks
9-27 Jan 2017
8:45 - 11:45 At Classroom #2
Climate Change Governnce
Recommended
Yolanda Ariadne Collins
(Guyana)
3 credits
3 weeks
9-27 Jan 2017
8:45 - 11:45 At Classroom #3
Research Methods
Mandatory
Olivia Sylvester
(Canada)
3 credits
3 weeks
31 Jan-17 Feb 2017
8:45 AM - 11:45 AM At Council Room
Tools for Conflict Resolution and Transformation
Mandatory
Manish Thapa
(Nepal)
3 credits
3 weeks
22 Feb-14 Mar 2017
8:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. At Council Room
Food Security
Recommended
Olivia Sylvester
(Canada)
3 credits
3 weeks
20 Mar-07 Apr 2017
1:15 - 4:15 At Classroom #5
The United Nations System and UPMUNC (Part II)
Mandatory
Ross Ryan
(Canada)
1 credits
3 days
19-21 Apr 2017
8:45 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. At Council Room
Natural Resource Management Field Course
Recommended
Jan Breitling
(Germany)
3 credits
3 weeks
24 Apr-12 May 2017
1:15 PM - 4:15 PM At Classroom #5
Human Vulnerability and Climate Change Adaptation
Recommended
Olivia Sylvester
(Canada)
3 credits
3 weeks
17 May-06 Jun 2017
1:15 - 4:15 At Council Room



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COURSE DESCRIPTION

The UPEACE Foundation Course provides a critical and concise introduction to the broad field of “Peace Studies” for students in all UPEACE programs. It initially addresses key conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of the origins and development of peace studies as an interdisciplinary area within the fields of international relations and political economy, as well as a basic understanding of conflict analysis. Based on a critical analysis of policies, strategies, policies, institutions, organizations and movements, the course then examines a range of core issues, dimensions, perspectives and paradigms for understanding the root causes of conflicts and violence and constructive strategies to address them and build peace in contemporary global, international, regional, national and local contexts, including: conflict management, conflict resolution and conflict transformation; alternative discourse analysis; militarization and disarmament; human rights violations and promotion; gender inequalities, gender-based violence and gender mainstreaming; structural violence, human security, development and globalization; environmental sustainability; corporate social responsibility; cultural and religious identities; media’s role in conflict and peacebuilding; strategies of nonviolence; and peace education. This Foundations course will be essential in catalyzing the awareness, understanding and motivation of UPEACE students from diverse academic programmes to relate, ground or intersect their specific areas of academic and practitioner interest with core theoretical, conceptual and analytical ideas in peace studies.

This course will take a close look at the linkages between the environment and peace and conflict. First we will introduce the theme of global environmental change and its impacts on human security, development and life in general. We will discuss the different root causes of these environmental and social or development crises as they come forward in the literature, focusing on overpopulation, industrial development, and free market capitalism and globalization. Part of this discussion will be an analysis of the responses to this crisis and what can, should and is being done to stop it.

A second theme we will discuss is the way sustainability is defined and measured, analyzing different aspects of the political characteristics of measuring, and of the complexities around coming up and using indicators to measure something as complex as sustainability. We will analyze the often proposed focus based on the faith on technological efficiency, and demonstrate that technology by itself won’t solve the sustainability problem with regards to the environmental and social dimensions.

A third main theme of this course is to look at the different linkages between environment and violent conflicts. We will discuss the literature on environmental security, going from older frameworks of scarcity induced conflicts to more complex notions of natural resource abundance, globalization, and historical, political, ecological and economic issues that influence peace and conflicts. The topic of environmental peacebuilding will be presented and critically analyzed. We will make use of specific case studies that give insights into the often contradictory roles of the environment and natural resources when analyzing peace and conflicts.

This course explores conflict, insecurity and collaboration in relation to scarcity, poor quality, and variability of freshwater resources. Students will examine disputes and conflict over access to fresh water resources and rivers, including dam construction.  

A special focus will be on how conflict over transboundary freshwater resources has fostered peace building through cooperative co-management. Throughout the course, mechanisms and instruments will be introduced to assist the resolution and prevention of water-related conflict and insecurity including: international law; institutional arrangements; governance and policy reform; and involvement of civil society organizations.

Deforestation is seen by many as one of the main global environmental challenges of our times, because of its significant impact on biodiversity and its important contribution to Global Warming. This course analyzes the way deforestation has been and is being explained by both mainstream and alternative narratives, critically engages with the way it is defined and measured, and discusses the various attempts in stopping or reducing it. Additionally, this course takes a look at the links between poverty and deforestation, some of the possible strategies to reduce poverty through forest-based activities, and analyzes and discusses the importance of forests for humans and the challenges faced by those who try to manage them sustainably.

This course will provide a brief introduction to the particularities of coastal and oceanic resources and ecologies. Second, we will investigate the unique attributes of the human economic, social, and cultural systems (i.e. fishing, fisherman and fishing cultures) that are most directly dependent upon them. Among the many topics within this section, the course will specifically focus on understanding artisanal fisheries, large-scale/industrial fishing, and aquaculture, as well as the differences and conflicts that exist between these methods of resource extraction. Third, a broad overview of the development of the current resource crises and conflicts will be presented and examined via case studies from throughout the globe. Fourth, the evolution of and trends in coastal and marine management over the last century will also be a central aspect of this course.  

Thus, we will explore the evolution from traditional top-down models to the implementation of stakeholder inclusion participation, and comanagment. We will also thoroughly review the role of marine parks, protected areas, and no-take reserves in the management and conservation of coastal resources. Finally, through practical exercises, guest lectures, and field visits, students will be able to explore the complex nexus of relations between humans and coastal/marine resources as it applies to Latin America and the case of Costa Rica.  

In sum, students in this course will gain insight into and knowledge of how we have moved from the naïve perspectives of Mare Liberum and the inexhaustibility of oceanic resources, which were predominant in the 19th century, to the increasingly complex layers of marine tenure systems, marine protected areas, and precautionary approaches that characterize contemporary 21st century marine and coastal resource management regimes.

This course explores contemporary trends in sustainable agriculture and agroecology. The course begins by building a framework of the different ways in which sustainable agriculture is practiced. We relate these contemporary practices to the capitalist transformation of agriculture in the 20th century. We then ground our academic study of the transformation of agricultural practices in actual existing famers and agribusiness. We will visit a Dole banana plantation, the Corsicana organic pineapple plantation and two small organic farms all in the Caribbean plain of Costa Rica. The field trip gives an opportunity to view how course topics inform contemporary agricultural practices. In the second week of class we examine how trade, globalization and hybrid / GM technologies have accelerated the transformation of agriculture. We pay particular attention to the role of science in this transformation via case studies of organics, transgenics, and the IAASTD report. We end with a focus on population and its role in agricultural transformation, institutional projects to promote agro-ecology, and a move towards local food production and consumption.

The physical risk reduction capacity of ecosystems depends on their health and structure, and the intensity of the hazard event. Degraded ecosystems can still play a buffering role, although to a much lesser extent than fully functioning ecosystems. Healthy ecosystems reduce social-economic vulnerability by sustaining human livelihoods and providing essential goods such as food, fibre, medicines and construction materials. For example, in addition to providing coastal hazard protection, mangroves and seagrass beds support fishing and tourism activities and store high amounts of carbon.  Ecosystems can reduce physical exposure to common natural hazards, namely landslides, flooding, avalanches, storm surges, wildfires and drought, by serving as natural infrastructure, protective barriers or buffers. For example, in the European Alps, mountain forests have a long history of being managed for protection against avalanches and rockfall. Protection forests in Switzerland, have been valued at USD $1,000 per hectare per year along mountain roads and the state provides considerable financial incentives to manage forests for hazard protection.

This course analyzes the nature and evolution of systems of governance to address climate change at the international, national, and local levels, charting the changing history of climate policy from the issue's initial introduction into political discussion to its recent ascension to become the new "master concept" of environmental governance generally.  The roles of various stakeholders in the negotiation, including transnational institutions, nation states, nongovernmental organizations, private businesses, and municipal governments, will be examined, as will the efficacy of different mechanisms (state-led, market-based, hybrid, etc.) for enacting climate policy.  The potential impact of climate policy on particular environmental issues (e.g., hydroelectric and nuclear power) and social groups (e.g., women, minorities, indigenous peoples) will be discussed as well.  Case studies will examine specific instances of climate policy and negotiation, including recent UNFCCC conferences, Costa Rica's own payment for environmental services (PES) and "Peace with Nature" climate neutrality initiative, and the emerging debate over proposed REDD (Reduced Emissions through Deforestation and Degradation) mechanisms.

The central goal of this course is to provide the students with a basic variety of research tools, methods and approaches used in the social sciences.  The final goal of this course is to enable them to formulate research problems, select a research approach, develop and implement a research design, and review and criticize investigations executed by peers and colleagues in the wider research community.
This course offers students with foundational knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methods, elements to discern how and when they should be used, and the benefits and drawbacks of each specific method. It will develop students’ theoretical knowledge and applied skills in conducting qualitative and participatory research with ample field examples from the social and natural sciences, addressing issues, challenges and emerging trends in a globalized world.

Designed as an advanced workshop, this course provides a conceptual, theoretical and analytical understanding of, as well as practical skills in conflict analysis, negotiation, resolution and transformation essential in peacebuilding within and between states. Drawing on examples of complex conflicts involving nation-states, non-state groups, communities and citizens, students will examine various frameworks and tools for analyzing those conflicts, including the drivers, processes of escalation and conditions for de-escalation. The course will also provide basic knowledge, tools and skills in the vital strategy of negotiation in managing and resolving conflicts. It focuses on how the process of conducting diplomatic negotiations and other informal processes aimed at managing inter-state and intra-state conflicts have an impact on the outcomes of those conflicts, laying the foundations for outcomes ranging from stable peace to further escalation of violence. The workshop will also introduce students to various types and strategies of mediation as an important means of alternative conflict or dispute resolution. In the concluding sessions, students will examine the differences between conflict resolution and conflict transformation which focuses especially on addressing the root causes of conflicts, transforming and building long-term relationships with grassroots and community empowerment and fostering reconciliation.

The objective of this course is to first explore the nature of our food systems and the paradox of why, despite the apparent scientific and technological developments in agriculture enabling production of a worldwide food surplus, food insecurity is increasing globally. Secondly, students will explore what needs to change in our food systems in order to reach a goal of sustainable food security.

To achieve these two objectives, students will be encouraged to explore food security from a household and community perspective in order to understand the environmental factors that contribute to food insecurity. This knowledge-building process will be done through group tasks in the classroom and in the field. Students will be expected to undertake practical work to assess the situation of households vulnerable to food insecurity, hopefully in two locations, one urban and one rural. The course emphasizes “learning by doing” and so there will be field trips to two locations to meet vulnerable households and to assess successful local research initiatives which are increasing household and community food security.

Group work in the class will address defining food security and what constitutes a healthy sustainable food system. In addition, there will be group work, for example, in exploring the causes of famines, the issue of food justice and a right to food, the problems of food aid, and the implications of commoditization of our food systems. To bring out opposing viewpoints on food issues, part of the group work will be organized as debates. The intention of the course is to emphasise experiential learning rather than focus on formal lectures although there will be an initial presentation by the instructor on a food security topic prior to each workshop session. Hopefully, students will have gained both practical skills and theoretical knowledge about hunger, famine and food security and will feel confident and empowered to address these issues directly or indirectly in their future work.

The UPEACE Model United Nations Conference (UPMUNC) is a graduate-level simulation of the real United Nations Organization, its most important specialized agencies, and other associated organizations. UPMUNC provides a common platform for UPEACE students and participants from several other universities to discuss international affairs and to gain a greater understanding of the procedures of the United Nations. Participants become familiar with key global issues by becoming part of the international decision making process to resolve them, and in so doing, are given an opportunity to apply their skills in negotiations, public speaking, and diplomacy.

This class is an opportunity to explore in-depth how different land-uses and conservation approaches intermingle in one particular region: the South of Costa Rica.  The purpose of the field trip is to obtain critical direct experience and knowledge of important natural resources management issues in a developing country, given the real political, economic and ecological context of the same. This course enables students to assess the contextual factors that affect natural resource management. Over the course of the trip, we will visit and be exposed to projects and issues with various resources, different actors involved in the management and different institutional settings.

The course aims at understanding the impact of climate change on the global environment and on human activity.  Climate change increases risks to human livelihoods and as such may endanger the security of individuals and groups. This in turn could increase the propensity for conflict within and between states.
Components of the course will include a critical examination of the drivers of climate change, largely induced by human activity, and a review of international efforts to limit the magnitude of climate changes, including those concluded in Kyoto and Copenhagen. Consequences of climate change for human health, for economic activity, for resource use and resource availability will also be examined, as will be the options for adapting to climate change.
The examination of climate changes will be viewed within the broader context of the current demographic, economic and political global reality.   Introductory comments and discussions led by the instructor will be followed by seminars with broad student input.



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FACULTY

Head, Dept. of Peace and Conflict Studies, Assistant Professor, and Academic Coordinator Gender and Peace Building Programme and Peace Education Programme

Dr. Gal Harmat holds a PhD in Gender Analysis of Peace Education and Dialogue encounters from Nitra University (Slovakia) and a M.A. in Gender and Peacebuilding from the UN-Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. She was a professor in conflict transformation, peace education and gender and Co-Director of the Social Justice and Peace Education Teachers Training Program, Kibbutzim Teachers College in Tel Aviv, Israel. She has also been teaching in the World Peace Academy (University of Basel), the European Peace University (Austria), and the Arts and Social Change College in Israel. As a Gender and Peacebuilding Specialist, she has extensive experience in training, conflict analysis, dialogue facilitation, capacity building, peace education, research, gender empowerment and gender mainstreaming since 1998 in various countries in Eastern Europe, Africa, and West and South East Asia. Her consultancies include intergovernmental organizations (e.g. OSCE, UN Women, UNDP, and the Council of Europe), various international and regional NGOs (e.g. Non Violent Peace Force, Friends of the Earth Middle East; Peres Centre for Peace) and corporate donors (e.g. United Bank of Switzerland; Optimus Foundation).

Jan Breitling is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environment and Development at University for Peace. He holds a BSc. in Tropical Forestry, from the Technological Institute of Costa Rica, and a MSc. in Environmental Sciences from WUR Wageningen University and Research Center, The Netherlands. His research interests include root causes of deforestation and Global Environmental Change, and Environmental Governance, specifically market based approaches addressing biodiversity conservation and Climate Change.

Dr. Julie Watson is a PhD in geography with expertise in transboundary water conflict and cooperation.
Julie's goal is to figure out ways we can collaborate more effectively over shared water resources while addressing inequities in access to water for all its uses. She's especially interested in environmental justice, participatory processes, and the integration of qualitative, hard-to-measure values alongside the quantifiable in more holistic decision-making frameworks.
Julie is certified in mediation and transboundary water conflict transformation. She has produced a documentary film and measured its value as a facilitation tool, and she has created training modules and conducted workshops to build practitioner capacity for conflict management. Julie's passion is creating a resilient process and facilitating stronger partnerships to catalyze creative, strategic, and resilient water governance solutions for more peaceful, just water management.

 

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Peace and Conflict Studies and Academic Coordinator International Peace Studies Programme and International Peace Studies with specialization in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies Programme
Dr. Manish Thapa is Resident Professor of International Peace Studies at UPEACE. He is one of the founding members of Department of Conflict, Peace & Development Studies at Tribhuvan University Nepal (2007-2015). He is also currently Visiting Professor at the Institute of International Relations, University of Warsaw, Poland and Senior Research Fellow at Center for Europe – University of Warsaw- Poland. He received his Post Doctorate in International Relations from the University of Warsaw, his Doctoral Degree in International Studies from University of Tokyo, Japan and Masters Degree in Peace & Conflict Studies from European Peace University, Austria. He has served as Research Fellow in several universities and institutes in Europe and North America such as the University of Warsaw; Department of Peace & Conflict Research, Uppsala University; Brown University; McGill-Echenberg Human Rights Fellow & Jeanne Sauvé Scholar, McGill University; Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame. His publications include 6 books and numerous journal articles and book chapters including "Foreign Policy in the Global South: Anti-Westernism, Rhetoric and Identity” -(Co-editor), London: Routledge 2016 (Forthcoming - In Press); “International Relations in Asia: Great Powers and Institutions-(Co-Editor), London: Routledge 2017 (Forthcoming - In Press).

M.Sc. in Marine Biology, Universidad de Costa Rica.  Ph.D. candidate, Marine Affairs Department, University of Rhode Island. Coordinator, Southern Central America Marine Program, Conservation International. Member of the Costa Rican Ocean Commission, in representation of Conservation International and of the Costa Rican Marine resources sub-commission, within the Presidential “Peace with Nature” Initiative. Appointed to Costa Rica’s technical working group for the South Pacific, for the assessment of the viability of establishing a new marine protected area in Costa Rica’s south Pacific. As a member of Costa Rica’s EEZ Commission, active participation in the elaboration of Costa Rica’s National Marine Strategy. Professor, Introduction to Fisheries Management (B-0681), School of Biology, University of Costa Rica.

Dr. Mayumi Yamada (Japan) Assistant Professor and Doctoral Programme Coordinator.
Prior to joining UPEACE, Dr. Mayumi Yamada worked as the Recovery, Reintegration & Peace Building (RRP) Officer, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) (April, 2013 - June 30, 2014). During the December Crisis 2013 in South Sudan, she remained as a critical (life-saving) staff, directly managed one of the biggest Protection of Civilians sites (UNMISS Tomping PoC) and supported humanitarian assistance during armed-conflicts in the capital Juba. At least 27,000 people’s lives were saved in the UNMISS Tomping compound. Before the crisis, she drafted the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) South Sudan (2014-2016). Before joining UNMISS, she worked with UNDP Offices in Kazakhstan, Maldives, Lao PDR and Solomon Islands. She holds a Ph.D. in Sustainable Development (Poverty Reduction & Environment Conservation: Watershed Management Programme with CARE International Nepal) from Imperial College London, UK. She worked with Disaster Management Planning Unit of United Nations Centre for Regional Development, UNCRD), being one of the survivors from the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake in 1995. She is also the Visiting Research Fellow, Global Collaboration Centre (GLOCOL) of Osaka University.

Dr. Kanade is the Head of the Department of International Law and Human Rights at UPEACE, and is the Director of the UPEACE Human Rights Centre. He holds a Ph.D. in Peace and Conflict Studies with a specialization in Human Rights (Multilateral Trading System and Human Rights: A Governance Space Theory on Linkages) and a Masters degree in International Law and the Settlement of Disputes from UPEACE. He also holds a LL.B. from Nagpur University, India. Prior to joining UPEACE in 2009, Mihir practiced for 6 years as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of India and the Bombay High Court, focusing on issues of fundamental human rights violations. His principal area of academic research is Globalization and Human Rights.
Dr. Miriam Estrada-Castillo (Ecuador) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of International Law and Human Rights. Prior to joining UPEACE, Dr. Estrada-Castillo worked as the senior legal and political officer in the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). Prior to that position, she has worked with the UN system in various capacities, including as the International Prosecutor General, UN Peacekeeping Mission for East-Timor (DPKO), Expert and Vice-Chairperson of the Monitoring Committee of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Chief of Field of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Latin America Regional Adviser on Gender, Human Rights and Culture of Peace for UNESCO. She has also worked as the President of the Ecuadorian Supreme Court of Juvenile Justice and as the Minister of Social Affairs in Ecuador. In her academic life, she worked recently as the Director of Master Degree Courses on Gender and the Law and Children in Armed Conflict, Lund University, Sweden. She is a Visiting Professor of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) and has also taught courses as a Visiting Professor at the Australian National University. She is the author of the Ecuadorian Law on Violence against Women and of the first Legislation for Minors and Family in the country.
An ethnobiologist who researches food harvesting in Costa Rica. For the past decade her research program has focused on access to food in Costa Rican national parks. Specifically her emphasis has been on Indigenous rights to access and harvest cultural food. Olivia is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the International Society of Ethnobiology, the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage Project, and the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance. Being active within these networks allows her to work at the interface of policy and practice regarding food harvesting and access.

Instructor, Liason, Media, Peace and Conflict Studies Specialization and Editor, Peace and Conflict Monitor and Peace and Conflict Review Ross Ryan holds degrees in political science and literature from McMaster University, Canada and the M.A. degree in environmental security from the University for Peace, Costa Rica. He is chief editor of the Peace and Conflict Monitor and managing editor of the Peace and Conflict Review, as well as instructor in the department of peace studies and liaison officer of the media, peace and conflict studies specialization. He is currently working on a research project entitled “Information Technology, Civic Engagement, and the Cyber-Ethnography of Peace Movements”.

Urbano Fra Paleo, B.A. Hons. Geography (Santiago de Compostela), Ph.D. Geography (Santiago de Compostela, 1996), also holds a Diploma in Environmental Engineering from the EOI Business School and is a certified Geomatics Specialist (GIS/LIS).

Urbano Fra is Professor in Human Geography at the University of Extremadura in Spain, currently on leave at the Land Laboratory (LaboraTe) of the University of Santiago de Compostela since 2007. He is Visiting Professor at the University for Peace (UPEACE), Costa Rica. He worked at the US Geological Survey in Denver (1995) and Hawai’i (1999), and was Research Associate at The Environment Institute of the University of Denver (1996). In 2005 he was Fellow of the American Geographical Society Library of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
 
Dr. Fra has performed fieldwork in the United States, Mexico and Morocco, and taught at the University of Köln, Germany (2003), University of Marburg, Germany, (2002), University of Iceland, Iceland (2001) and Fachhochschule Neubrandenburg, Germany (1997). His research interests lie in risk governance, particularly the development of criteria and methods to perform collaborative evaluation. His research is also focused on the analysis of strategies of mitigation and adaptation to risk from natural hazards.
 
His most recent works include the editing of the books Building safer communities. Governance, spatial planning, and responses to natural hazards (IOS Press, 2009), and Riesgos naturales en Galicia El encuentro entre naturaleza y sociedad (University of Santiago de Compostela Press, 2010), a review of the interaction between natural hazards and societal processes in northwestern Spain. He currently is editing the book Risk governance: The articulation of hazard, politics and ecology for Springer. Urbano Fra has been involved in the European Virtual Seminar on sustainable development through a European-wide university partnership. He is a member of the group that is developing the evaluation tool AISHE 2.0, contributing with criteria and methods for the evaluation of sustainability in higher education.
 
He currently is member of the Spanish Scientific Committee of International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), of the Scientific Committee of the Integrated Risk Governance (IRG) Project, of the Disaster Risk Reduction Thematic Group, Commission on Ecosystem Management, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), project associate of the Project Urbanization and Global Environmental Change (UGEC), and is Senior Research Fellow of the IHDP Earth System Governance.
 
In 2009 Urbano Fra received the Innovation Award from the University of Santiago de Compostela, and the same year was honored with the Sustainable Actions in Social Entrepreneurship Award from the University of Santiago de Compostela and the Jaime Vera Foundation for distinguished contributions in introducing young students to science research.
 
He serves on the editorial board of the Chinese Geographical Science Journal.
Ariadne Collins is at the ending phases of her doctoral research on forest governance and conservation, particularly on the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism in Guyana and Suriname. In 2014, she worked with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) offices in the REDD+ participating countries of Guyana and Suriname on the mechanism’s implementation, preparing a report on the progress of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) initiatives across the Guiana Shield for the Guiana Shield Facility of the UNDP Guyana, and participating in REDD+ preparation efforts in Suriname through the UNDP office there. Prior to commencing work on REDD+, she was attached for two years to the UWI-CARICOM Project of the Caribbean’s regional integrating body, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, based in Guyana. She has also held brief supportive roles at Democracy Program of The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia; and at the environmental policy think-tank of Green Alliance in London, UK. Ariadne currently holds a Masters in Research (MRes) in International Environmental Policy and Politics (Distinction) from the University of Westminster, London and a Bachelor's degree in International Relations (Honours) from the University of Guyana.
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