ENVR E-161B: Land and Water Conservation for Sustainable Development and Biodiversity Conservation in an International Context

Land and water conservation has become an important tool for both sustainable development and biodiversity conservation around the world. More than 15 percent of the world's terrestrial area and 10 percent of coastal waters are now encompassed within protected areas. Their management is likely to strongly influence the future richness of global biodiversity, the economic future particularly of rural and indigenous communities, and the severity of future global climate change. The course examines the origins of land conservation as a tool, its spread around the world, its relationship to other social movements such as the spread of national independence movements, the growth of free trade, the spread of democratic and multilateral institutions, and the growing focus on women's rights, indigenous and community rights, and environmental justice. Land conservation is examined in the context of global change, including changes in biogeochemical cycles, land use and cover, population, education, and economic attainment. The course includes detailed examination of the advantages and limitations of major tools of international land conservation, including direct government action (for example, national parks), private land conservation, and the growth of community-based conservation. We focus on the practical application of conservation tools and teach students the skills they need to operate as conservation practitioners around the world.

Note: Students can attend in person on campus, participate live online at the time the class meets via web conference, or watch the recorded video on demand. Videos are available within 24 hours of the lecture.


Henry Tepper
Frank Lowenstein







Course ID: 

  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2019-2020 academic year, but may be offered in an alternate year.
  • An asterisk (*) before a course number indicates that a student must obtain the instructor's permission in order to enroll in the course.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

Connect with us

Follow HUCE to stay updated on energy and the environment at Harvard and beyond.

Subscribe to our mailing list