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Natural resources, both renewable and non-renewable, and their management feature prominently in the pursuit of sustainable development. That pursuit revolves around the issues of scarcity, depletion and degradation, incentives to manage renewable resources sustainably, the place of conservation, and several others. This e-course is a brief introduction to these issues. More detailed treatment of individual categories of natural resources is given in other courses under the Natural Resource Management theme of this program.

This e-Course is intended for senior government officials, NGO leaders and private sector managers who need to know more about natural resource management, particularly the management of water, land, and coastal resources, without necessarily being subject matter specialists. The course material can also be used to structure or expand academic curricula aiming to serve as a bridge to more detailed treatments of the subject.



The e-Course comprises the following 30-minute modules that you can take at your own pace.

Module 1: Essentials of Natural Resources Management

For many, natural resources and ecosystems and their wise management are the embodiment of sustainable development. If sustainable development is to mean anything it has to be “green”. Other courses in this program remind you that sustainable development goes well beyond the Earth’s green

endowment and deals also with human health, and social and other aspects.  

Module 2: Water Resource Management

The focus here is on water resources in their original state. The module discusses water availability (and growing scarcity in many cases), a variety of challenges to water security, and fundamentals of management approaches most compatible with sustainable use. Little is said about the “hard” water infrastructure in the module not because of its unimportance –the opposite is true—but because the subject is dealt with in more detail in Management of Water Resources e-course. The same is true of urban water supply dealt with in Smart and Green Cities, and water pollution issues introduced in the Environmental Sustainability e-course.

Module 3: Management of Forests, Land, and Biodiversity

The module introduces you to the essential terminology of forests and terrestrial ecosystems, the key trends in forest cover in Asia and the Pacific, and the basics of forest management. Several areas are highlighted: (a) the balance between production, conservation and other management objectives (a) landscape-level and other integrated management approaches; (b) forests’ role in supporting livelihoods and overcoming poverty; and (c) carbon sequestration potential by forests and other resources.

Module 4: Coastal and Marine Resources Management

Coastal and marine resources are a major economic, social, environmental and cultural asset for many countries of Asia and the world. Sustainable use of these resources is essential for adequate nutrition, improved livelihoods, and a sort of development that marries material advance with adequate quality of life and preservation of marine and coastal ecosystems. The module introduces you to the specifics of the coastal and marine resources and key challenges involved in pursuing those objectives.

Module 5: Climate Change and Ecosystem-based Adaptation

This module deals with risks to natural resources posed by a changing climate. It pays special attention to the interaction between climate-related risks and conditions of ecosystem assets and introduces the concept of ecosystem-based adaptation.