ESA-31306 Integrated Ecosystem Assessment in Regional Management


Studiepunten 6.00

Practical extensively supervised6
Project learning8
Course coordinator(s)dr. RS de Groot
Lecturer(s)dr. RS de Groot
prof. dr. R Leemans
dr. ir. CSA van Koppen
prof. dr. PFM Opdam
APE van Oudenhoven
S van der Ploeg
K Petz
dr. LC Braat
Examiner(s)dr. RS de Groot
dr. ir. CSA van Koppen

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

ESA-20506 or ESA-22806


In regional planning and management many, often conflicting interests have to be taken into account in the decision-making process In this process the importance of natural ecosystems is often neglected. For balanced decision-making, it is necessary to analyse all effects of human interventions in a given ecosystem or region in an integrated way (including ecological, socio-cultural and economic aspects), taking due account of the interests and perceptions of the involved stakeholders.
The course starts with an introduction to integrated ecosystem assessment concepts and tools with special emphasis on ecosystem services. Students will practice with these tools in a real case study situation and apply them to selected regional environmental policy issues. In the last week the focus will be on innovative financing instruments for sustainable regional management and the presentation of the case study results.

Learning outcomes:

After the course, the students are expected to:
- be able to explain and critically discuss the underlying principles of the main ecosystem assessment tools and know how to apply them in analysing regional environmental problems;
- understand the different approaches to ecosystem service valuation and know how to involve stakeholders in the assessment process;
- explain the various trade-off instruments in regional planning and be aware of the importance of uncertainties;
- understand the main environmental policy instruments and how they are used to address regional environmental problems;
- be able to describe the various financing mechanisms for sustainable regional management;
- be able to work with regional ecosystem assessment tools within a multidisciplinary project team.


Self-work from students is expected during various seminars offering the opportunity to practice with tools such as Function Analysis and Ecosystem Service Valuation, Stakeholder and Trade-off Analysis (incl. GIS-based models and integrated Cost-Benefit Analysis), Decision Support Systems (incl. computer exercise) and Environmental Policy Assessment. Students will apply all these tools in a real case study for which they will make a trade off analysis of different scenarios which will be presented at the end of the course.


Based on written examination, case study report and participation during the case study presentation.


A course guide and reading material is available through Eduweb.

Keuze voor: MESEnvironmental SciencesMSc5AF
MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc5AF
MCLClimate StudiesMSc5AF