FNP-23303 Planning - Ecosystem, value chain and landscape approaches: Theories, Tools and Practices


Credits 3.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Excursion (one day)7
Course coordinator(s)dr. VJ Ingram
Lecturer(s)dr. VJ Ingram
HAC Runhaar
RS van Tol
Examiner(s)HAC Runhaar
dr. VJ Ingram

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

FNP-11806 Forest, Nature, Society

The course builds on the investigation of actors and their relationships and values in FNP-11806 Forest, Nature, Society and builds on basic knowledge on value chain certification gained during excursions and lectures. This course builds on the concept of value chains, briefly introduced in FNP-21306 Management of forest and nature organisations and the audit in PEN-10806 Forest and Nature Conservation I: Introductory Field Course

Continuation courses:

The concept of governance introduced in this course are further elaborated in FNP-24306 Governance for Forest, Nature and Biodiversity. Game theory (the concept underlying the landscape game) will be further covered in FNP-32306 Decision-Making in Forest and Nature Management: Theory and Practice.


Forest and nature management and policy involves making choices about goals and the activities implemented to meet those goals. Plans are often based on theoretical concepts, which guide the choices made and set out broad approaches for how these can be achieved. Stakeholders include the government, private sector, community organisations and civil society organisations. They may work alone, and increasingly, together. In practice, how plans are made and implemented often deviates from theory. The objective of the FNP-23303 Planning: Theories, Tools and Practices course is to give students grounding in both the concepts and practices of three approaches currently used in to planning and managing ecosystems. The learning outcomes of the course are that students can identify and understand three key planning concepts, critically understand when and how they can be used and be able to apply the concepts and tools to practical cases.

The course starts with a brief introduction to three key different planning concepts and tools in forest and nature conservation and then zooms in to explore the following three approaches and how they work in practice:

1.Ecosystem focused approaches focusing primarily on the planet: using biodiversity agriculture to conserve habitats and species and landscape quality.
2.Landscape approaches that focus on both people and different ecosystems with a geographic area, articulating area based goals and approaches to achieve these.
3. Value chain approaches that have a strong profit focus concerning how products are governed as they are transformed from a natural resource into a product sold to consumers.

Individual and group assignments are used to provide students with practical insights into applying the approaches by critically reviewing cases of protected areas; a practical field excursion to two tropical timber companies to understand a value chain and certification in practice; a value chain mapping analysis, and analysing developing stakeholders interests in a a landscape plan. External guest speakers provide students with an opportunity to interact with stakeholders and better understand how the approaches work in practice.

A critical analysis of literature on these different planning approaches will be used to help understand the approaches: how they are used and the impacts they have. The analysis also builds students critical analytical skills about the conditions in which these approaches can be used, as well as their presentation skills.

The course concludes by asking students to summarize the sustainability and impacts (environmental, social, and economic) of different approaches currently used. This “reality check” aims to stimulate students to critically examine the extent (scale and geographical extent, actual levels of partnership and co-management/collaboration) and how these approaches are used and their impacts – both positive and negative – to meet diverse societal goals. Students will write an individual paper about how the approaches work, when and where and the advantages and disadvantages of different planning approaches.

Student's knowledge will be evaluated through group and individual assignments (60%) and an exam (40%). Students need to have a minimum partial grade of five and a half (5.5) for all components. Marks for the assignment and exams are valid for one year only.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- identify and explain the current concepts and theories, approaches and tools for forest and nature planning;
- explain when landscape and value chain tools/approaches can be used;
- evaluate the conditions when landscape and value chain approaches for forest and nature planning can be used and what impacts they have (environmental, social, economic);
- analyse the approaches using cases and apply landscape and value chain tools/approaches to those cases;
- analyse the contradictions and complementarities, advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches discussed in the course.


During the course, you will engage in combination of activities:

- preparing and attending lectures;

- field practical excursion;

- group work;

- paper: essay writing supervised by lecturers with peer feedback;

- self-study of scientific articles and course materials, and preparation for examination.


The student's knowledge will be evaluated through assignments based on individual and group work (60%) and a written examination (40%).


Will be made available through MyPortal.

Compulsory for: BBNForest and Nature ConservationBSc5AF
Restricted Optional for: WUFNCBSc Minor Forest and Nature Conservation5AF