Environmental Policy and Leadership Skills - (15 credits)

International conventions and legislative agreements currently shape environmental policy and practice in many of the World’s countries. Specific to Europe, a sophisticated environmental policy structure that includes the Birds and Habitats Directives, Water Framework Directive and EIA Directive is designed to provide measures and tools for implementing internationally-binding agreements across the region. The European structure and process has gained world-wide recognition and is adopted by many other countries as a suitable model for embedding international initiatives into their own national policy for the environment. The rapid increase in globalization coupled with diminishing resources and decline in biodiversity has forced change in the way global societies view the environment, and in some countries, political and societal behaviour. For instance, strategies that include stakeholder engagement, partnerships, coalition building and community – based initiatives are promoted as mainstream practices to meeting international objectives to halting biodiversity decline and loss of ecosystem services. In this module students are encouraged to critically analyse schools of thought in environmental philosophy, and to appreciate how some of the founding theories have come to shape modern policy. A focus on the main European Union political drivers and environmental directives will provide the baseline for understanding global initiatives. At a more practical level, students will have the opportunity to examine in detail the structure and mechanisms of implementing wider environmental objectives at national and local levels through working with sector-based case studies. Much of local environmental policy is implemented through community action, which often includes the engagement of stakeholders and wider society. The kinds of skills and understanding needed in leadership and negotiation is often lacking in the sector and can be one of the main reasons for failure in driving home environmental policy.