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University of Leeds launches course to tackle Environmental Challenges

Environmental Challenges: Scarcity and Conflict in the Natural Environment is an online course offered by the University of Leeds in Leeds, England, United Kingdom. The class is taught by Dr. Jon Lovet, the Chair in Global Challenges at the university’s School of Geography. This course is intended for anyone who is interested in conflicts that arise related to environmental decision making and has no educational prerequisites or work experience requirements. Professionals who work in environmental management can receive up to 14 hours of continuing professional development training credit by paying a fee for a certificate of completion at the end of the class.

Taught through a series of online videos, Environmental Challenges: Scarcity and Conflict in the Natural Environment lasts for two weeks. Each week, students will need to devote approximately 5 hours of study time to watching the videos and completing readings and supplemental assignments.

At the start of the course, students receive an introduction to the environmental economics theories of Ken Boulding. The class then moves on to focus on how changing production methods has led to an increase in natural resource exploitation and how the demand for these resources has led and is leading to conflicts. Specifically, the class delves into oil conflicts. The course then shifts to discuss water war and water peace and how property rights have been negotiated to settle disputes regarding natural resources. During the final lectures, students will learn about development and study specific examples of its environmental impact in the Middle East.

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