FNP-24806 People and Forest & Nature Conservation


Studiepunten 6.00

Group work5
Excursion (one day)16
Course coordinator(s)dr. AE Buijs
dr. ir. BHM Elands
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. BHM Elands
dr. AE Buijs
RMB Laurentzen
dr. N Woldman
Examiner(s)dr. AE Buijs
dr. ir. BHM Elands

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

FNP-11806 Forest, Nature, Society


Successful forest and nature management is increasingly based on collaboration between governments, nature conservation agencies and citizens. Experiences in the field have shown that management decisions cannot be designed or implemented without taking the relationship with broader society into consideration. Citizens expect to be involved in these decisions, and policies that do not match the views of influential social groups can cause social conflicts. Meanwhile, budgets for nature conservation are decreasing and governments in the Netherlands and many other European countries increasingly expect civil society and citizens to contribute to halting biodiversity loss. Nature conservation agencies increasingly look for new actors to contribute to conservation aims, including organised citizens. This course explores the theoretical and empirical questions of this interaction of citizens (individual and/or organised) with their natural environment. What are the benefits of nature for citizens and society at large? How do citizens contribute to nature conservation? And why do protest emerge against conservation and restoration efforts?

The course will introduce theoretical concepts such as public engagement and public support, self-governance, nature experience, images of nature, sense of place and wildlife values. Key to the course is the acknowledgement of diversity in views and opinions within society and between citizens and conservationists. As nature conservation critically depends on political and societal support, conservationists need to be able to understand this diversity and discuss the consequences of this diversity for success and failure in nature conservation practices. The course will explicitly stimulate such discussions, both between students as well as between students and teachers.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to: 
- understand the diverse ways in which citizens engage with forest and nature;
- explain the underlying reasons and barriers for citizen engagement;
- define strategies of engaging citizens to contribute to forest and nature conservation;
- use social scientific theories and concepts to understand, explain and assess citizen engagement;
- assess the contribution and relevance of citizens to forest and nature policy and management;
- prepare, structure and give a presentation in front of an audience, using media and supportive non-- verbal behaviour.


- preparation for and attendance of lectures;
- participation in supervised tutorial classes;
- participation in and contribution to discussion during the excursion;
- working on group assignments;
- giving of oral presentations;
- writing an individual reflection paper.


- individual written examination (60%);
- group assignments (25%);
- presentation skills assignments (15%);
The minimum partial grade for each of the components is 5.5.


Literature will be made available through Brightspace

Verplicht voor: BBNForest and Nature ConservationBSc4WD
Keuze voor: WUFNCBSc Minor Forest and Nature Conservation4WD