MOOC: Environmental Security and Sustaining Peace


MOOC Launch

The massive open online course (MOOC) on Environmental Security and Sustaining Peace:  Overcoming Risks from Extractive Industries, Resource Scarcity, and Climate Change will launch in early 2018. 


To enroll in this course, please sign up here.

About the MOOC

The United Nations Environment, the Environmental Law Institute, the University of California – Irvine, Duke University, and Columbia University are developing a MOOC on Environmental Security and Sustaining Peace.  This MOOC provides an in-depth introduction to the multiple roles that natural resources and the environment play in the onset, escalation, resolution of, and recovery from violent conflicts. 


Conflicts over natural resources are among the greatest challenges in 21st century geopolitics and present serious threats to human security at both the national and local levels. Natural resources can nonetheless serve as a vehicle for peace if managed in a sustainable and equitable manner. Environmental peacebuilding has emerged as a new frontier in interdisciplinary studies and offers a conceptual and operational framework for researchers and practitioners to understand and maximize the positive peacebuilding potential of natural resources across the conflict lifecycle while mitigating potential risks.


This MOOC will have modules focusing on environmental causes of conflict, environmental impacts of conflict, and post-conflict recovery, and address themes including extractive resources, resource scarcity, and climate change.  Advanced undergraduates and graduate students, as well as technical experts and field practitioners will be invited to participate in the MOOC to learn about the key concepts and practices of this growing field.


The MOOC will include lectures, in-depth case studies, and interviews with notable experts and practitioners. There will be three tracks available to students: a certificate track (paid), an auditing track (free), and a shortened executive learning track (free) for decision-makers.


The Steering Committee for the MOOC includes (in reverse alphabetical order):

  • Erika Weinthal, Duke University
  • Richard Matthew, UC-Irvine
  • Marc Levy, Columbia University
  • David Jensen, United Nations Environment Programme
  • Carl Bruch, Environmental Law Institute


If you have any suggestions or further questions, please contact us at

MOOC Logos 2