Elective course on Governance of Natural Resources

At the introduction day of the course, we introduced the person we were sitting next to. It was nice to see so many international students in the class (Uganda, Zambia, Sweden, Ruanda, India, France, Germany, Greece… and more) and knowing that they were enrolled in other master programmes. We were, as one lecturer said, a lot of “capital” concentrated in the class; we all carry different perspectives and biases in our discourse, which we could identify and be more aware of. Concepts were described as “the lenses through which we see new things” and governance of natural resources as involving management of both people and nature. I particularly liked this introduction, and the point made in the lines of “the technical solutions may be already there; if those are not taken may be a governance dilemma” which encourages us, I guess, to at least try to better undestand the topic.

Regarding practical matters, there are lectures almost every day (3h), a few assignments and activities such as debates, and there is a home exam we will write during December, to be submitted in January. This course is divided into two parts: first is more on theories and concepts, and later on, we will be introduced to practical cases by different lecturers with a certain area of expertise and international research experiences (Thailand, Himalaya area, North of Sweden…). So far, we’ve gone through issues like participation, common resources, representation, democracy questions, advantages and disadvantages of global agreements, payment for ecosystem services, REDD+, conflict cases… In summary, I leave the class with lots of questions rather than answers, and feeling there’s so much going on out there!!

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