Sunday, December 7, 2014

Announcing “Disastersand Ecosystems: Resilience in a Changing Climate”

Announcing “Disastersand Ecosystems: Resilience in a Changing Climate”, a new Massive Open OnlineCourse (MOOC) to be launched on 12 January, 2015

What we all know is that disasters are increasing worldwide. Population growth,environmental degradation and climate change will likely exacerbate disasterimpacts in many regions of the world. What role do ecosystems play in reducingdisaster risks and adapting to climate change? This is the topic of an exciting new Massive Open Online Course thatwill go live in January 2015. It was developedjointly by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Center for NaturalResources and Development (CNRD) and the Cologne University of Applied Sciences(CUAS), Germany. This is UNEP’s first MOOC, developed through its engagement with universities worldwide including the Global Universities Partnership on Environment for Sustainability (GUPES).

The MOOC covers a broad range of topics from disastermanagement, climate change, ecosystem management and community resilience. Howthese issues are linked and how well-managed ecosystems enhance resilience to naturaldisasters and climate change impacts are the core theme of the course.
The MOOC is designed at two levels: the leadership track, with the first 6 units providing generalintroduction to the fundamental concepts, which is suitable for people from allbackgrounds who wish to have a basic undertaking of the topic. The second level, or expert track comprises 15 units with more in depth learning on thevarious tools of ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and climate changeadaptation.
The course is delivered by both scientists and practitioners.In addition there are guest lectures from global leaders and experts, such as Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Julia Marton-Lefèvre, former Director General of the International Union for the Conservationof Nature (IUCN), Rajendra Pachauri of Teri University and Margareta Wahlströmof the UN International Strategy on Disaster Reduction (UNISDR).

Students will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledgethrough quizzes, real life and fictitious problem-solving exercises, additionalreading materials, videos and a discussion forum. An Expert-of-the-Week will be available torespond to questions and interact with students. Students will receive weeklynewsletters with up-to-date news on ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction andadaptation.
The course is invaluable for universities around the world,where faculty members can use it to update their curriculum and use thelectures and teaching materials for blended learning for their own courses. Atthe same time, the MOOC format also allows those currently outside theuniversity system to learn about the new developments in the area of disastersand climate change, without having to enroll in a university or pay for anonline course. Those who successfully complete the course will be provided witha course certificate.

Visit:<>, or enroll directly at: