LNAK10043U  Environmental Management in Europe

Volume 2013/2014
MSc Programme in Agriculture
MSc Programme in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
Environmental Management in Europe is an interdisciplinary distance learning course offered by the University of Copenhagen with contributions from the Swedish University of Agricultutal Sciences, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, the University of Hohenheim and the European Environment Agency. It is open for MSc students from Denmark, other countries in the EU and the rest of the world. 

The focus of the course is environmental management of natural resources (soil, water, air, biodiversity and climate) from a European perspective. The European Union (EU) sets the policy frame for almost all environmental regulation in the member states. This frame determines both the possibilities and the limitations for carrying out environmental management and developing environmental solutions in the EU.

In the first part of the course the concept of environmental management and the online learning platform used in the course is introduced. A short overview of European natural resources and the current state of the environment within the EU is given. Environmental ethics and sustainability concepts are discussed. There will be an introduction to environmental monitoring and assessment, EU environmental law and EU environmental policy. Economic tools for environmental valuation and cost benefit analysis will be discussed.

The second part of the course features a number of case studies based on actual EU environmental policy initiatives (e.g. the Habitat Directive, the Water Framework Directive, the Air Quality Framework Directive, the Climate Action and Renewable Energy Package and the Soil Framework Directive. It is investigated how these initiatives originated and how they are implemented from the EU level to the national, regional and local levels. The scientific and political background for the different initiatives are analysed and discussed. It is investigated how environmental assessment and economic tools are used to support decision-making and evaluate environmental policies.It is analysed how EU directives are interpreted and implemented in the different member states. The environmental, economic and social consequences of EU environmental policies and the need for EU environmental policy integration are discussed. In this discussion the Water Framework Directive is central, since it links to a number of other EU directives. 

For more information see the course homepage at www.environmental-management.dk

Note 1: In week 35 all students will meet at the University of Copenhagen to get to know each other, meet the teachers, learn about the online learning system, and visit the European Environmental Agency in Copenhagen.

Note 2: Students may follow the course in the first or second year of their Master programme, e.g. as a part of the Basic Semester Package in the EnvEuro MSc programme in Environmental Science (see www.enveuro.eu).
Learning Outcome
The aim of the course is to provide a solid understanding of how environmental management in Europe is applied at different scales, from the EU level to the national, regional and local levels. Focus is on environmental management of soil, water, air, biodiversity and climate. After completing the course the student should be able to:

- Summarise the background, the fundamental principles and the managerial approaches embedded in EU environmental law
- Identify how different tools and resources for environmental management can be used to acquire knowledge about the state of the environment and solve environmental problems
- Describe how insight and skills in natural sciences are used together with economics, law and planning in contributing to contemporary environmental management
- Reflect about own environmental ethics, and how environmental ethics and sustainability concepts of different stakeholders affect actual environmental policy in the EU. 

- Apply environmental management tools and resources to analyse environmental policy initiatives
- Compare the implementation of environmental policies in different EU member states

- Cooperate and work independently with environmental management in the context of environmental policy
- Discuss how environmental management in Europe is applied at different scales, from the EU level to the national, regional and local levels
The learning resources consist of uploaded PowerPoint presentations with audio as well as selected scientific articles, reports and book chapters, which will be made available online.
Internet based E-learning modules (E-modules) with weekly deadlines, as well as team assignments and individual assignments. Each E-module is composed of 1) an introduction 2) an overview of the purpose, the subjects and the learning outcome, 3) a short study guide 4) suggested learning resources (which can be text, audio and/or video files) and 5) several exercises called E-lessons. The E-lessons are online learning activities which can be either discussions or multiple-choice questionnaires. The role of the teachers is to assist student learning by serving as E-moderators for the various E-lessons and give feedback to the students.
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Written assignment
Description of examination: Students will be assessed on the basis of: i) completion of exercises throughout the course (discussions and questionnaires) ii) individual contribution to two written team assignments, iii) performance in two written individual assignments

Weight: 50% exercises; 25% team assignments; 25% individual assignments
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners
If 10 or fewer register for the reexamination the examination form will be oral.
Criteria for exam assesment
Please see the description of learning outcome
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 204
  • Theory exercises
  • 102
  • Project work
  • 102
  • Excursions
  • 4
  • Total
  • 412