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Practical course: Economy, Development, and Environment ()

SS 2014
14 sections

Trung Thanh Nguyen

1. Course description

It is well recognized that economic growth and development are closely interacted with natural resources and the environment. Such interactions are intricately linked with the everyday life of individual persons and households, especially in developing countries where the issues and concerns are somewhat different from the management of natural resources and the environment in developed countries. Sustainability is a much more immediate concept, since it must take into account of pressing concerns such as basic subsistence and even survival. Therefore, the aim of the course is to provide students with an understanding of the relationship between economic growth, development and environmental issues with the focus on developing countries.  

The course thus covers a range of topics including the drivers of economic growth, the contribution of natural resources and ecosystem services to economic growth and development, the effects of economic growth and development on the sustainable management of natural resources and the environment as well as the sustained provision of ecosystem services. 

2. Student evaluation

Assignments (50%)

Students are required to complete two assignments (25% each). These include (i) a paper review (a list of papers will be provided for students to select one to review and present) and (ii) a short essay writing and presentation (students are encouraged to present their own research ideas for Msc or PhD thesis, or they can select one topic from the list provided by the instructor. Teamwork are encouraged).

Active participation (50%)

Lectures will be provided with open questions for discussion. In addition, a number of case studies and documentary films on development and environmental issues will be shown. Thus, students are required to participate fully and actively in class discussions.

There is no exam for the course.

3. Course content

The course is organized in 14 sections. The first section is devoted to the arrangement issues (assignments of papers and topics, dates, times, and place) and discussion on the expectations of students about the course. The last section is for reviewing the course with questions and answers as well as for comments to improve the course. Each of the remaining 12 sections is 3 classroom hours (3*45 minutes) and includes lectures, presentations and discussions.  

The main topics to be covered within this 12 lectures are:

(1) Concepts of economic growth, sustainable development, environmental degradation and sustainability.

(2) Drivers of economic growth and development

(3) Market failures, environmental externalities and policy instruments, including payments for ecosystem services.

(4) Population, poverty, food insecurity and income distribution

(4) Land tenure, land degradation, and livelihood impact

(5) Deforestation and afforestation

(6) Trade and environment with climate change and energy transformation

4. Suggested books

(1) Meadows et al. (2004): The Limits to Growth: The 30 year Global Updates. The Chelsea Green Publishing Company.

(2) Baker (2006): Sustainable Development. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxen; New York, N.Y.: Routledge.

(3) Ellis (1993): Peasant Economics: Farm Households and Agrarian Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

(4) Perkins et al. (2001): Economics of Development. Norton & Co.

(5) Ray (1998): Development Economics: NJ: Princeton University Press.

(6) Tisdell (2005): The Economics of Environmental Conservation. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, Mass., USA

5. Registration

The course is offered for a limited number of students (max. 12). Please register by sending an email of registration to Dr. Thanh Nguyen (thanh.nguyen@uni-bayreuth.de) before 30.4.2014. The first section is the second week of May, 2014 (registered students will be informed via emails on date, time and place). The following sections will be arranged in a flexible way.

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last modified 2014-03-27