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2015/2016  KAN-CBLCV2002U  Ecosystem Services - The Managed Environment

English Title
Ecosystem Services - The Managed Environment

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 35
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for BSc og MSc in Business, Language and Culture, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Kristjan Jespersen - Department of Intercultural Communication and Management (ICM)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Globalization and international business
  • Political leadership and public management
Last updated on 17-02-2015
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: When we have completed this course, students will be able to do the following:
  • Describe the diversity of living organisms involved in the provision of ecosystem services;
  • Identify the challenges of measuring ecological functions associated with biological populations and communities in real world systems;
  • Describe the relationship between ecosystem functions and services, and illustrate the dependence of this relationship on its political, social, and economic context;
  • Summarize common methods of valuation and evaluate the advantages and limitations of various approaches, with their influence on the processes of law, policy, business, academia, et al;
  • Assess the performance of specific programs, policies and institutions in the management of ecosystem services - specifically in terms of efficiency (economic and ecological); equity (social, environmental and political); and sustainability (financial, political and environmental); and
  • Identify the underlying assumptions and validity of interdisciplinary approaches that incorporate the value of ecosystem services into natural resource management.
Ecosystem Services - The Managed Environment:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Group exam, max. 3 students in the group
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
For students writing alone or in groups of 2-3 students - the number of standard pages to hand in is max. 5 pages per student.
Assignment type Report
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
10 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

A synopsis is to be prepared in groups of four students (max 15 pages)-. The synopsis is the basis for the oral exam and is evaluated as a whole.

Course content and structure

The impacts of global climate change are resounding. As a result, societies around the globe face perplexing questions about how to manage our natural systems in ways that best support rapidly expanding human needs. For example:

  • How do we minimize the ecological footprint of growing urban areas?
  • How do we quantify the ecosystem services provided by an intact versus a degraded ecosystem?
  • How do political systems support the management of their ecosystem services?
  • How do we spatially target rural and urban conservation areas to sustain critical ecosystem services for rapidly urbanizing regions?
  • How do we assure access to the full set of nature’s benefits for the next generations to come?
  • How can expanding urban areas cope with the dual pressures of climate change and water stress?
  • How do we account for all ecological, social and economic values of ecosystems?
  • What types of incentives and regulation will secure public acceptance of the measures necessary to protect critical ecosystem services?
  • What novel social institutions can effectively engage relevant stakeholders in ecosystem service management?

These demanding questions require interdisciplinary approaches and the engagement of community partners to mold solutions and to adaptively manage new issues. The ecosystem services framework - with ecological, social and economic dimensions - offers a holistic conceptual model to understand the science and find effective adaptive management for whole ecological systems. ‘Ecosystem Services – The Managed Environment’ will expose students to the strengths and weaknesses of managing the environment. With its growing analysis of ecosystem processes as a function of ecological systems, as well as the growing literature interpreting the monetary value placed on ecosystem services, the development of market-based schemes as a means of conservation has been quick to develop (Daily and Matson, 2008; Jack et al., 2008). This course introduces students to the ecological, economic and social/ethical issues involved in the study of ecosystem services, with a major focus on international management and economics components involved in ecosystem services. Practitioners of this initiative will require drawing on innovations in business, economics, law, and governance. Accordingly, this course is intended for diverse students and will focus on teamwork, learning from peers, and integrating across disciplines to analyze real-world cases.

Teaching methods
Teaching is a combination of lectures and case based discussions. During the course, case discussion sessions will take place during which students will be divided small groups so as to present content and lead discussions. The students are required and expected to prepare for the sessions as well as interact during the discussions.
Further Information

Changes in course schedule may occur.
Monday 11.40-13.30, week 36-41, 43-47.

Expected literature

Bayon, R. (2004). Making Environmental Markets Work: Lessons from Early Experience with Sulfur, Carbon, Wetlands, and Other Related Markets. Washington, DC, Forest Trends: 27. http://www.earthscape.org/p1/ES16905/Environmental_Markets.pdf

Boyd, D. R. (2003). Unnatural Law: Rethinking Canadian Environmental Law and Policy. Vancouver, BC, UBC Press. www.unnaturallaw.com

Boyd, J. and L. Wainger (2002). "Landscape indicators of ecosystem service benefits." American Journal of Agricultural Economics 84(5): 1371-1378. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1467-8276.00404

Camino, R. d., O. Segura, L. G. Arias and I. Pérez (2000). Costa Rica: Forest Strategy and the Evolution of Land Use. Washington, DC, The World Bank: 151. http://lnweb18.worldbank.org/oed/oeddoclib.nsf/DocUNIDViewForJavaSearch/A25EFCF3220878D585256970007AC9EE

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005). Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis. Washington, DC, Island Press. http://www.millenniumassessment.org/en/Products.aspx

Last updated on 17-02-2015