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Environmental Security and Governance
Specialization in Climate Change and Security (CCS)
This programme directly addresses the need for a clearer understanding of the multiple relationships between climate change and international, national and local security issues. The academic premises on which the CCS specialization is built are: that environmental problems are closely linked to security issues at the individual, national and international levels; that climate change is one such issue and is a potential contributor to increased intra-state conflict levels; and that the international community plays an essential role in governing the climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. The ESP-CCS specialization aspires to contribute to significant environmental and development improvements, such as the recognition and empowerment of local and indigenous communities in the shaping of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, and the identification and mitigation of conflicts that arise from climate change related issues. These areas are closely related to each other, and it is expected that their integrated treatment will provide decision makers with concrete starting points for peace building in the broad climate change field.
Successful candidates into this program typically have obtained high qualifications in an accredited bachelor's degree in the social sciences (anthropology, geography, political sciences and similar degrees) or in environmental sciences, preferably in some combination of the above. They also demonstrate preferably 3-4 years or more of relevant experience in fields related to the program. English proficiency is a must, while some proficiency in Spanish is preferable, because of the many field activities of this program in Costa Rica. The selected candidates eventually show a very clear and concrete commitment towards the understanding and implementation of local, national or international actions that contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and offer a convincing vision of the role of the program in their future career.
The location of this programme in Costa Rica allows the participants to interact first-hand with the political, policy and technical specialists who have in the past and still contribute with cutting edge policies that make the countriy an example worldwide in testing new ideas in the climate change mitigation and adaptation fields. The 40 credits program takes place over two course semesters between August of one year and May of the following year, followed by an independent study for a total duration of 11 months. After several foundational courses in Peace and Conflict Studies, Environment Security and Research Methods, the participants delve deeper into their specialization topics, such as Climate Change Science, Climate Change and Human Vulnerability, International Climate Change governance systems and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Systems among many other course opportunities (see list below). Towards the end of the first semester, with the guidance of their academic advisor, the participants will have identified their independent study topic, for which they prepare a full proposal due in the course of the second semester. The Independent Study report is a comprehensive desk study research on a subject that closely matches the student's career interests in the field of climate change and Security and marks the end of the program.
The required courses are:
PCS-6000 - Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies (3 credits). Collegiate course by UPEACE resident faculty.
ESP-6010 - Introduction to Environmental Security (3 credits). Mahmoud Hamid.
ESP-6020 - Introduction to Research Methods I and II (3 credits). Marteen Kapelle
ESP-6140 - Environmental Conflict Management (or equivalent) (3 credits). Rolain Borel
ESP-6120 - Human Vulnerability and Climate Change (3 credits). Mahmoud Hamid
ESP-6201 - Climate Change Science (3 credits).
ESP-6202 - International Climate Change Governance Systems (3 credits).
ESP-6203 - Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation systems (3 credits).
ESP-7100 - Independent Study (8 credits). Assigned advisor
Elective courses may include:
ESP-6070 - Disaster Risk Reduction at the Local Level (3 credits). Rolain Borel et al.
ESP-6071 - Urban Environmental Security (3 credits). Mahmoud Hamid.
ESP-6090 - Hunger, Famine and Food Security (3 credits). Reg Noble.
ESP-6100 - Environmental Security Assessment (3 credits). Jeffrey Stark & Katsuaki Terasawa.
NRD-6020 - System Thinking (1 credit). Rolain Borel
NRD-6081 - San José Environmental Seminar (1 credit). Jan Breitling.
Participants who have successfully completed this program will be able to manage environment and development issues in a local and global context that contribute to climate change governance, mitigation and adaptation. By the end of this programme, participants will also master the current theory and practice in environmental security and climate change science and policy and will be able to formulate policies and generate strategies to advance climate change mitigation and adaptation at the local, regional and global levels, as well as to facilitate and participate in local, national and international governance mechanisms in the field of climate change. Graduates of the ESP-CCS specialization are likely to be employed by international and national agencies and NGO's, working in close contact with local organizations, as well as by environmental and policy making institutions. Others are likely to pursue a higher education degree in the broad field of climate change and security.