Environment and Human Rights (30 Sep – 10 Nov, 2015)

Course description

Environment and Human Rights 
30 September-10 November 2015 (E02315) | Register for this course
Instructor: Dr. Cosmin Corendea

Note: This course is also offered in blended format with a field visit component in Costa Rica from 7 – 12 December, 2015

This six-week certificate online course jointly organised by HREA and the Human Rights Centre of the UN-mandated University for Peace looks at the linkages between the environment and human rights and examines how these linkages may assist efforts to protect both the environment and human rights. The course uses an interdisciplinary approach and focuses on the educational, legal and social aspects of this relationship. The course will address climate change, environmental degradation, mitigation and adaptation, migration, human rights based approaches to the environment, loss and damage, and the environment and human rights in the light of the post-2015 development agenda. Under the umbrella of international law and environmental sciences, the course will pay special attention to hybrid legal approaches on the environment and human rights, including as a potential strengthening and dispersing method to address the nexus of environment, human rights and mobility.

This e-learning course involves approximately 30 hours of reading, interaction with students and instructor on discussion boards, quizzes, a written assignment and webinars. The course is based on a participatory, active learning approach, with an emphasis on critical reflection and peer-to-peer learning. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Participation. It is also possible to audit the course.

Course outline

Week 1: Introduction to Environment and Human Rights Linkages
Week 2: Legal Approaches: Concepts, Mechanisms and Implementation
Week 3: Water and food security in the context of climate change
Week 4: Climate Change and Human Rights Based Approaches
Week 5: New emerging legal nexus: Environment, human rights and mobility
Week 6: Addressing Human Rights and the Environment in the Post-2015 Agenda

About the instructor

Dr. Cosmin Corendea serves as Associate Academic Officer for Environmental Migration, Social Vulnerability and Adaptation Section at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), managing the Climate Change, Environment and Migration Alliance (CCEMA) which is a multi-stakeholder global partnership aiming to bring together actors representing a range of perspectives including migration, development, environment and human rights. He also coordinates the MRF Chair Project on Social Vulnerability initiating policy relevant research and organizes capacity-building in relation to climate change and resilience. He acts as focal point for legal issues (institutional vulnerabilities and adaptation, human rights, forced migration, etc.) associated with the adverse effects of climate change and comparative frameworks of social vulnerabilities and resilience, and as liaison officer to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the University for Peace (UPEACE) and the World Bank. Dr. Corendea holds the Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) distinction in International Legal Studies from Golden Gate University School of Law and he received his LL.M. in Intercultural Human Rights (hons.) from Saint Thomas University Law School.

Who should apply

The course is intended for environmental and human rights academics, advocates, and practitioners who seek a balance of education and work at the institutional and community levels. Candidates should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. HREA and the UPEACE Human Rights Centre aim to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants.


Tuition fee for participants: US$ 435 (after 7 September 2015: US$ 495); tuition forauditors: US$ 165 (US$ 195 after 7 September 2015). Payments can be made online with major credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, Visa), PayPal, bank transfer (additional fee applies) and money transfer (Western Union, MoneyGram). Bulk rates are available. Payments are due upon registration.


Register for this course (page opens in new window). Early registration and payment deadline: 7 September 2015. However, registrations are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. It is also possible to combine the e-learning course with a field experience in Costa Rica from 7-12 December 2015 (E06915-Blended) in the 1st Annual Environment and Human Rights Course & Field Visit in Costa Rica.