Village Earth

New Course on Climate Change & Community Development

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We have a problem: our planet is heating up due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. This is manifesting in different ways and all around the Earth: weather patterns are changing, desertification is expanding, sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acid, and many species are on the brink of extinction. The levels of human-produced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increased significantly since the offset of the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s. The global atmospheric concentration of CO2 increased from a pre-industrial value of about 280ppm to 379ppm in 2005 (IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, 2007). The average global temperature rose about 0.8 °C higher than its pre-industrial level. In an effort to mitigate climate change, economists, governments, corporations and environmentalists have proposed, since early 1990s, the use of ‘offsetting’ mechanisms to help polluting industries to compensate for their CO2 emissions by either expanding or protecting forests somewhere else. The idea of offsetting industrial carbon emissions through biological carbon sequestration and storage has been fiercely debated since it was first proposed. Many NGOs, developing country governments, and local communities oppose the concept for a variety of reasons. Based on this idea of carbon offsetting, REDD schemes were created. The idea of REDD was first put on the international agenda at COP 13 in Bali (2007). Some see REDD as one of the best mechanism to help combat climate change, whereas others remain skeptical to their efficiency and even see them as dangerous. This is why Village Earth has begun offering a new course Climate Change and Community Development: the Impact of Carbon Offsetting Schemes.  This course will first run January 25 – March 1, 2013 with registration ending January 20.  Click the link for more information or to register.

Upcoming Courses in the Village Earth/CSU Online Certificate Program in Community-Based Development

Fall I Session

GSLL 1509 – Development and the Politics of Empowerment

Through a careful investigation of the historical applications of development, we will explore the idea that development is an inherently political process and challenge the claim that any development NGO is apolitical. Additionally, we will strive to identify successful methods of community empowerment through political organization.

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Summer II Session

GSLL 1510 – Community-Based Mapping

This course explores theories, ethics, applications, and methods of community-based mapping and its role in participatory learning and action as well as larger processes of integrated community-based development.

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