Massive Open Online Course on Peace Park Development and Management
Are you interested in exploring the intersection between biodiversity conservation and community peacebuilding? Would you like to know how to establish a Peace Park using innovative methods based on the most contemporary research and projects actually taking place on the ground? Do you want to become more skilled at tackling the challenges of Peace Park management?
The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Peace and Biodiversity Dialogue Initiative in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme invites you to learn how to do just that in our Massive Open Online Course on Peace Park Development and Management. This free course is offered in five languages: English, French, Russian, Spanish and Arabic. Financial support is provided by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Peace and Biodiversity Dialogue Initiative funded by the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea.
This course will:
• offer a comprehensive guide on Peace Park establishment;
• teach participants to make a strong case for Peace Park development;
• develop the skills to effectively plan, establish and manage Peace Parks;
• address the challenges associated with the creation and management of these transboundary protected areas.
The course already attracted about 750 participants from 128 countries. This innovative course was aimed at peace park development practitioners and environmental peacebuilding enthusiasts but was open to everyone. Participants were highly engaged in the course, resulting in a completion rate of 25.14% (three times the industry average) and more than 1,200 engagements on the course forums.
Out of 262 survey respondents, 73% are able to influence policy in their job, and 97% of those participants will use their learnings from the course to influence policy in the future. 98% of all the participants were satisfied or highly satisfied with their learning experience across all five languages. Overall, the evaluation of the course shows that the course provided a key mechanism to build the capacity of biodiversity policymakers and practitioners and increase awareness about how conservation and environmental peacebuilding can go hand-in-hand.
The course focused on building the skills needed to make a strong case for peace park establishment by providing learners with the guidelines to effectively plan, manage and monitor a peace park. Week 1 served as an introduction to peace parks. Week 2 provided a step-by-step guide for developing and maintaining a peace park, and Week 3 analyzed ways to address the challenges associated with the creation and management of a peace park and explore solutions-based insights from projects taking place on the ground.
The course experts taught that the cornerstone of many solutions to peace park development and communication issues is the culture of dialogue. During the Week 3, participants learned five stages of dialogue development and discussed: why dialogue important is; how dialogue differs from—and complement—other processes; in what areas can dialogue make a difference; what some essential lessons are for establishing dialogue for policymakers. The course reached its ultimate objective - to build a community of practice around peace park development and management.
Weekly webinars featured experts from UNDP, the Peace Parks Foundation, Environmental Law Institute, University of Waterloo, Canada, and Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, among other prominent institutions.
The course room is now transformed into a stand-alone module, and the self-paced module will stay open indefinitely, and people will keep using the course resources. Registration link: click here.
The Secretariat has also developed additional concise learning modules which take approximately an hour each, providing an overview of key terms, concepts, resources, and approaches. To access the module “Transboundary protected areas and regional networks”, other online courses as well as exercises, additional learning materials, and discussion forums, click here
International boundary areas often contain large, intact and remote ecosystems. Yet because they are dissected by international boundaries, these areas are often subject to different and incompatible management and land-use practices.
This module covers aspects related to transboundary protected areas and regional networks, including the establishment, planning, management, assessment of transboundary areas as well as the lessons "Guidelines for managing tension and armed conflict". See a sample below.