Ecosystems and Human Well-being
The Ecosystems and Human Well-being course focuses on the interaction between ecosystems and human beings, that is, the functions that ecosystems provide for human well-being and the impact of humans on the functioning of ecosystems. An integrative conceptual framework to study this interaction has been developed in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA). The MA was carried out by more than 1,300 experts and was concluded with a series of reports containing a wealth of information on the current condition of ecosystems worldwide, trends and scenarios for the future and the options to reverse ecosystem degradation. The course is centred around the MA, and the MA Synthesis Report runs as a common thread through the course. The Synthesis Report is supplemented with a Textbook (in two parts) containing theoretical backgrounds and case histories. Studying this course requires an active approach and is guided by assignments, which are organized into six study tasks. These study tasks (in the Electronic Workbook) provide the main structure of the course. The course exam consists of a compulsory assignment (to be fulfilled at home). In this assignment, you have to write a report on the ecosystem assessment you have conducted in the final study task. The course has a net study load of 100 hours (1 module, 4.3 European Credits).