Academic Course Calendar - Responsible Management and Sustainable Economic Development - 2016 - 2017

Courses and Teachers
2016 - 2017 - Responsible Management and Sustainable Economic 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-Castillo
(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
The United Nations System and UPMUNC (Part I)
Mandatory
Miriam Estrada-Castillo
(Ecuador)
2 credits
2 weeks (NOTE: including one double session -day TBA- 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. - Notice that 17 October - National Day)
10-21 Oct 2016
8:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. At Council Room
Economic Development, Peace and Conflict
Mandatory
Jan Pronk
(Netherlands)
3 credits
3 weeks
26 Oct-15 Nov 2016
8:45 - 11:45 At Classroom #2
The Political Economy of International Development and Peace
Mandatory
Jan Pronk
(Netherlands)
3 credits
3 weeks
26 Oct-15 Nov 2016
8:45 AM - 11:45 AM At Classroom #4
Review of Economic Theories and Concepts
Mandatory
Alonso Muñoz
(Costa Rica)
3 credits
3 weeks
21 Nov-09 Dec 2016
8:45 AM - 11:45 AM At Classroom #5
Disaster Risk Reduction
Recommended
Urbano Fra
(Spain)
3 credits
3 weeks
9-27 Jan 2017
8:45 - 11:45 At Classroom #2
Climate Change Governance
Recommended
Yolanda Ariadne Collins
(Guyana)
3 credits
3 weeks
9-27 Jan 2017
8:45 - 11:45 At Classroom #3
The Kurds between Past and Present Genocides in Iraq: Fresh Hopes or New Tragedies?
Optional
María Rita Corticelli

Mohammed Ihsan

3 credits
3 weeks
9-13 Jan 2017
8:45am - 11:45am. At Classroom #1
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)
Ross Ryan
(Canada)
3 credits
3 weeks
22 Feb-14 Mar 2017
8:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. At Council Room
Introduction to Responsible Management
Mandatory
Andre Nijhof
(Netherlands)
3 credits
3 weeks
20 Mar-07 Apr 2017
8:45 - 11:45 At Classroom #1
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
Social Responsibility
Mandatory
Nika Salvetti
(Italy)
3 credits
3 weeks
24 Apr-12 May 2017
8:45 AM - 11:45 AM At Classroom #2
Social Entrepreneurship
Mandatory
Alonso Muñoz
(Costa Rica)
3 credits
3 weeks
17 May-06 Jun 2017
8:45 - 11:45 At Classroom #2



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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.

Ever since its establishment in 1945, the United Nations has played a pivotal role in a great variety of affairs, large or small, international and national. As such the UN has played an incisive role in the lives of people around the world. Much of what the UN does is taken for granted and even goes unnoticed by the larger public, even as an oft quoted saying argues that ‘if the UN did not exist it would have to be invented’. At the same time, millions around the world look to the UN expecting it to address many of the enormous challenges faced by humankind. This complex dynamics is complemented by the fact that the UN is both reliant on what the member states want, while at the same time being much more than the sum of its members. This course provides a comprehensive and rigorous introduction into the UN system, including its origins and history, its organizational framework  and the  functioning of various organs, agencies, bodies and programmes.  Students will critically examine the most important areas of the UN mission including the key Charter pillars of international peace and security, economic and social progress and development and human rights as well as a growing list of priorities and initiatives (e.g., gender equality and  mainstreaming; eliminating gender-based violence; environmental protection; addressing climate change; post-2015 development agenda; Global Education First Initiative; action to counter terrorism; R2P, etc). In addition, the course offers a close look at some of the challenges the UN faces, and discusses various proposals for its reform. Students will also be encouraged to reflect on how UN priorities and initiatives can be constructively addressed in their respective fields and programmes of peace studies.

This course is a broad examination of the notion of economic development: its theory, practice as well as policies but with a specific emphasis on the concept of sustainability, at social, economic, cultural and political level. It will offer students an opportunity to better understand the concept of economic development from the traditional point of view where the analysis of the economic progress of nations was only measured by economic growth, to the present debate concerning development, which is focusing more on poverty and inequality as well as on questions concerning governance. 

During the course special attention will be given to the role of conflict in development.  

The course will discuss both national and international development issues, such as international trade, finance and climate change. Special attention will be given to various aspects of globalisation, including international governance and international negotiations.  

During the course both development theories will be discussed as well as practical experiences in development policy making and peace building.

This course is a broad examination of the notion of (economic) development: theory, practice and politics. Special attention will be given to sustainability, inequality and conflict. Both economic, social, cultural and political dimensions will be discussed.  

Main topics are: 

  • Theories of growth and development

  • Poverty

  • Conflict in processes of development.

  • Governance and policy making

  • Globalisation

  • Peacekeeping and peacebuilding 

    The course will discuss both national and international development issues, such as international finance and trade, climate change, and the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development. Special attention will be given to international governance, international cooperation and international negotiations. 

    During the course both theory and practice of policy making will be discussed. Due attention will be given to political dimensions.

Economics play an important role in organising human activity. This course is an introduction to the histories, actualities, and futures of economic thinking. The purpose is to review the most influential economic theories, and related concepts, in the light of contemporary ecosocial challenges. While reviewing the spectrum of theories from growth to non-growth, and degrowth economics, we analyse the following questions: what is economics; how do economic processes work; what and who is economics for; who are the economic actors, and what kinds of roles have they been assigned (and by whom); why and when is economics important; and what are the underlying assumptions behind different economic theories? The course will provide the students with an understanding of, and ability to operate with, main economic theories and concepts.

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.

This course introduces students to the struggles of Kurds in the context of genocides committed against them in the past as well as in the current ongoing conflict against ISIS. It explores the Kurdish national movement and its prospects and challenges. At the end of the course, the students will have an understanding of the history of the Kurds in the Middle East with specific emphasis on the Kurds of Iraq from the birth of Kurdish nationalism to the present day. The first session will offer an overview of the history of the Kurds and their relation with the succeeding Iraqi governments. The second session will cover the history of genocides in Iraq against the Kurds and other minorities exploring the causes and the consequences for the political and social stability of the area. The third session will focus on the heritage that this culture of violence has created in the area and the genocides committed by ISIS. The fourth session will discuss the future of Iraq and the Kurds in the context of the Middle East. The last session will explore which is the future of Iraq as a country after the liberation of Mosul and the new balance of power born from the end of the war with ISIS and the definitive collapse of the order established in 1916 with the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

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 purpose of this course is to provide students with a toolkit to support responsible management and decision-making in private, public, and third sector organisations of different sizes. The course offers an understanding of how different strategic and operational decisions in organisations influence the actors, practices, and structures in the spheres of business, society, and the natural environment. Lectures will focus on studying and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the contemporary management literature, including the shareholder primacy model, enlightened self-interest, institutional theory, stakeholder approach, corporate social responsibility, environmental management, corporate citizenship, public-private partnership, sustainable supply chain management, humanitarian logistics, sustainable organisation, and ecocentric organisation theory. In the course students will be working with several case studies and describing the current state of the managerial praxis, as well as evaluating the suggested implications to develop the organisational practices for sustainable development. As the main benefits, students will attain skills and knowledge that enables them to make their own judgements of what responsible management is, and what is not, in varying kinds of organisational settings.

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.

In the last decades of the XX century, within the context of globalization, the need to look at new economic paradigms more in line with sustainable development became evident and notorious.

The triple bottom line approach is becoming the common language in every organization and the social pressure on both corporations, as well as governmental actors, civil society organization in providing ecofriendly goods and services, complying with International standards and codes of conduct as well as respecting and advocating for human rights, is rising day by day. 

Therefore there is a urgent need to reflect on the current practices and trends in responding to the world most urgent demands and at the same time challenge the most renowned models and framework to attempt looking beyond corporate social responsibilities approach as analyzing the social responsibilities of all stakeholders and promote a common understanding and synergy of actions which lead to the building of a new society which is more respectful and responsible in responding to needs and priorities of all citizens. 

The course will lead the students towards a critical review of the current approaches to CSR and looking beyond it to analyze the society as a whole, as per each actor involved.  

This is because it is the author’s belief that all stakeholders are equally responsible of market failure, for un respectful behaviors towards the environment and the society, and there is a collective need to look for answers and align policies and strategies to achieve common goals for the benefit of all. 

The course will be an interactive course built on theories and practical experiences of students, guest speakers and the instructor.

The worlds of ‘working for the betterment of society’ and ‘private enterprise’ are often seen as incompatible. This course will attempt to breakdown that perception in order for participants to see the social sector as a place of opportunity, both to ‘do good’ but also to innovate and build a financially sustainable social enterprise, whether non-profit, for-profit, or some combination of the two. The course suggests that in order to get a socially beneficial idea off the ground, effectively grow it, and make it financially sustainable, social entrepreneurs need to think creatively beyond models of traditional non profits or for-profits. 

This hands-on and dynamic course will expose participants to a number of cases of social entrepreneurs who have converted their desire of building a better world into a reality. The course will include a field-based case where participants will experience first hand a social enterprise in Costa Rica. The course hopes to inspire participants with an entrepreneurial spirit, help gain an understanding of the challenges of the start-up process, and think about the complexities of growing and managing it.



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FACULTY

Alonso Muñoz is Instructor in the Department of Environment and Development at the University for Peace, where he coordinates the Master of Arts (MA) degree in Responsible Management and Sustainable Economic Development (RMSED). He holds a BSc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Costa Rica and a Msc. in Business Administration. He has worked in the private sector as a consultant and as an entrepreneur, and has volunteered on various national and international projects regarding peace education, migration, environmental impact of systems and Social Enterprises. He is a novelist, a blogger, a peace advocate, an entrepreneur and passionate about social and environmental development.

André Nijhof (1969) has a masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Twente. He started his working life as a researcher of organisational change in multinational companies like Akzo Nobel, Asito, Shell Pernis, Stegeman Sara Lee and Vredestein. Based on his research he finished his PhD at the University of Twente just before the turn of the century (1999). Next he became a senior consultant at Q-Consult, where he specialized in corporate social responsibility and the implementation of management systems. Andre is former chairman of the Dutch Network on Business Ethics. Since 2007 he has been associate professor at the European Institute for Business Ethics, part of Nyenrode Business Universiteit.

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).

Currently professor of Theory and Practice of International Development at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in the Netherlands, he graduated as economist at Erasmus University in Rotterdam (NL) in 1964.  He has been Minister for Development Cooperation from 1973-1977 and in 1989-1994 and Minister of Housing, spatial planning and enviornemnt in 1998-2002.  He has also been active Member of Parliament for several legislative periods.  From 2004 to 2006 he became the special representative Secretary General of the United Nations in Sudan and between 1980 and 1986 the Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD in Geneva.  Between 2000-2001 he was elected as Chairman of the 6th Conference of Parites at the UN Convention on Climate Change.  In 2001 he joined the Special Envoy of the Secretary General of United Nations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2001-2003).  In 2002 he became Chairman of the Board of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED, London 2002-2004) and in 2003 also Chairman of Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) in Geneva (2003-2004).  At the same time he was Chairman of the Federation of Refugee Organisations in the Netherlands from 2003 to 2004 and recently the President of the IKV, Interchurch Peace Council and the President of the Society for International Development (SID, Roma 2008-).
During his carreer, he received several special honours as Dr Honoris Causa at the University San Marcos in Lima, Peru (1974) and at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague (2002).  Among others, he also became the Officier of Legion D'Honneur of France (2001) and the Officer in de Orde van Oranje Nassau of the Netherlands (2002).

 

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.

Head, Dept. of Peace and Conflict Studies, Resident Professor and Academic Coordinator of International Peace Studies Programme and International Peace Studies with specialization in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies Programme
Dr. Manish Thapa is Head of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies and Resident Professor of International Peace Studies Master Programme at the University for Peace. 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. 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 2017 (Forthcoming - In Press); "From Bullet to Ballot – Peacemaking and Peacebuilding in Nepal: Lessons Learned and Unlearned" (Editor), London: Routledge 2017 (Proposal accepted); “Internal Conflicts & Peacebuilding Challenges" (Editor), New Delhi: K W Publishers 2016 and "India in the Contemporary World: Polity, Economy and International Relations" (Co-editor), London: Routledge 2014.

Mayumi Yamada (Ph.D.).
Resident Professor and Head of Doctoral Programme

Dr. Mayumi Yamada is Resident Professor and Head of the Doctoral Programme of the UN Mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) in Costa Rica. Prior to joining UPEACE, she worked as the Recovery, Reintegration & Peace Building Officer of United Nations Mission in South Sudan. During the December Crisis 2013 in South Sudan, she remained as a life-saving staff, directly managing one of the biggest Protection of Civilians sites by supporting humanitarian assistance. Before joining UNMISS, she worked with UNDP Offices in Kazakhstan (Semipalatinsk: ex-nuclear testing sites), Maldives, Lao PDR and Solomon Islands, and the UN Centre for Regional Development (Disaster Management Planning Unit). She holds a Ph.D. Degree in Sustainable Development from Imperial College London, UK. She is originally from Kobe (Japan), who survived from the Great Hanshin- Awaji Earthquake in 1995.

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.

Former Coordinator of the RMSED Programme at the University for Peace, Costa Rica from 2009 to July 2011. She Owns a Msc in Post-war reconstruction, graduated with distinction in 1999, University of York (UK). Bsc in Economics, graduated Cum Laude, 1992, University La Sapienza of Rome (Italy). Technical Diploma in accounting and foreign Languages, graduated in 1986, (Italy).

She has been working since 18 years in developing countries and war-torn societies in Africa (Uganda and Egypt), Asia (Indonesia), Middle East (Jordan, WBG, Lebanon, Yemen), Central America (Guatemala, Costa Rica) and the Balkans (BiH, Kosovo, Serbia, Macedonia) heading and managing emergency, rehabilitation and development projects for the European Commission (several years), SNV-Dutch Cooperation (1999-2001), CARE Nederland (2001-2008), MOVIMONDO (Consortium of Italian NGOs- 1995-1998).  She was also research fellow of the Institute of Nutrition for Central America and Panama (INCAP); University of York (UK) for research projects in Indonesia/Aceh and Lebanon/Beiruth; and of the University of Rome.  
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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