Tag Archives: ecosystem services

We are happy to announce that the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative is launching its 2nd Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on ‘Options and pathways for action: Stakeholder Engagement’, hosted by Global Campus 21®.

Register Now
Options and pathways for action
Stakeholder Engagement
(May 5 – June 29, 2015)

This 8 week course begins on May 5th and lasts until June 29th. It is entirely free of charge, and open to any interested party!

Building off the 2014 ELD MOOC, which focused on performing cost-benefit analyses to promote sustainable land management, the 2015 ELD MOOC addresses the importance of working with relevant stakeholders to implement sustainable land management choices effectively and sustainably.

Develop a Stakeholder Plan
The course introduces approaches to identify options and pathways for action, methods to identify stakeholders, and how to establish a basis for initiating engagement and discussion. At the end of the course, participants will develop their own stakeholder engagement plan. This MOOC will help participants understand how to effectively engage with stakeholders, and address and remove barriers to the successful adoption of sustainable land management. It draws from a range of publications, guidelines, examples, and case studies (inclusive of both successes and failures in order to identify best practices), selected under the guidance of experts of the ELD Initiative.

About the Mooc
The MOOC is a web-based intensive course with flexible participation, live webinars, offline reading material, an online forum, and moderated live expert feedback. It is offered on the GIZ "Global Campus 21" platform, with all learning materials and documents available for offline work. At the end of the course, participants are required to submit a stakeholder engagement plan that will be used to evaluate their progress and capacity to apply their knowledge and skills for successful stakeholder engagement.

Live webinars featuring expert speakers are held every Wednesday during the duration of the course, at 1500h CET (UTC/GMT + 1 hour). Those who wish to participate in the live webinars are advised to keep in mind the difference in time zones. They will be held in English, and recordings will be made available in English and if possible, in Spanish and French.

Participants receive an ELD-badge upon successful completion, provided he/she has actively and collaboratively participated in the course.

Certificates for participants who have successfully completed the course requirements will be issued by the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH).

Dates and Duration
The total course duration is 8 weeks (May 5 - June 29, 2015), with a minimum of 3-4 hours a week for reading course materials and collaborative online work.

Links and Videos

We are looking forward to seeing you in this exciting 2015 ELD MOOC again: Register Now

Best regards on behalf of the ELD-Initiative and the expert tutors,
your MOOC team

P.S.: Do you want to stay current on the latest ELD Initiative projects and e-learning activities? Then check out the ELD Website (eld-initiative.org), follow us on Twitter (@ELD_Initiative), and Register Now for ELD MOOC 2015 


Soil Counts-Preserve it!

Join the ELD MOOC Summer School! See how ELD works in practice!

The ELD MOOC is back! We have an exciting five-week programme from August 13 to September 10, 2014. This entails a series of webinars that will detail: case studies, actions undertaken by our partners, and complementary capacity building initiatives. The webinars allow you to directly interact with our experts and discover how economic analyses can be translated into practical action.

Soil Counts-Preserve it!  

Live Sessions: All sessions at 12:00 pm UTC

Week Speaker Topic
Aug, 13 
Robert Costanza, Australian National University Recording: Changes in the global value of ecosystem services
Aug, 20
Nicola Favretto,
University of Leeds
Recording: Trade –offs between different land uses in Southern Africa and Presentation Favretto 
Aug, 27
Louise Baker,
ELD as part of the UNCCD Soil Leadership Academy, Recording and Presentation Slides
Sept, 3
Varun Vats,
How businesses can conserve the soil (Due to technical issues, the session had to be terminated. A recorded version will soon be out).
Sept, 10 
Andreas Lange,
Ecosystem Services in land use planning and policy recommendations. Examples from the Philippines. Join here

We are looking forward to this exciting series of webinars to learn more about sustainable land use and engage in fruitful discussions with you.

The ELD summer school purely consists of five individual webinars. The completion of the first ELD MOOC is no prerequisite and we welcome both, new and experienced participants. As always, the course remains entirely free of charge!

Register now for the webinars and our weekly newsletter!

Practitioner's Guide

The ELD Initiative practitioner’s guide to economic valuation and cost-benefit analysis should be released soon. It will contain detailed step-by-step instructions and examples from the first ELD MOOC (March-May 2014). This will help you use economics to build up cases convincing policy and business partners of the economic benefits of adopting sustainable land management practices, while protecting of one of our most valuable resources: fertile soil.


About the MOOC:

MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course, a recent trend in e-education enabling an unlimited amount of users to freely access academic material online. Besides traditional learning materials MOOCs provide the opportunity for interactive learning and community building in forums, live sessions and online discussions.

Follow us on Twitter @ELD_Initiative  #ecolandeg #eldmooc

Recordings of all webinar will also be available on our You Tube Channel.

Join our trip around the world and watch the impressive results from the first ELD-MOOC.


This week's case study

Recommended Videos




  • Topic: Ecosystem Services and their Stakeholders
  • Experts: Stacey Noel, Director of the Africa Centre at the Stockholm Environment Institute
    Host: Claudia Musekamp
  • Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 3.30 pm CEST (German time: 15.30 Uhr)
  • Recording
Stacey Noel used the case of Kenya where stakeholders at various level are involved. Slides from the presentation: Stacey Noel Stakeholders  

Assignment 2 (part 1) "Your Ecosystem's Services"

Describe an ecosystem, its services, and its primary stakeholders (250 words max.) This assignment is the first of two parts, and is due on March 22.

Since a range of various ecosystems exist, we ask you to join a team that relates to what interests you. See Teams here.

  • Read Chapter 1_3 UNU INWEH
  • Enact a case-study in your team. Agree upon an ecosystem "case" (you may select one of the lands from week 1's assignment). Briefly describe the land's characteristics and services that it provides. For each service, describe the main stakeholders affected. Please also indicate or estimate the number of stakeholders affected.
  • The worksheets of the Week_2 Practitioner's Guide (editable pdf) will help you through the process.
  • You'll get some more information on the upload next week.

For example: Ecosystem Services from Tempelhofer Feld

  • Providing: Community gardens produce food for 1.000 neighbors. This land is a test lab for urban gardening and agricultural initiatives in Berlin and the rest of Germany.
  • Regulating: The Tempelhofer Feld regulates the microclimate in the Tempelhof neighborhood for 250.000 people. It also plays a role in the water household of the city of Berlin.
  • Culturally/ Socially Stimulating: A strong tourist attraction for recreational activities like biking, kite surfing, and skating, attracting 2.000 visitors every weekend. Educationally Stimulating: after-school education in pop-up structures for 2000 kids from the area.
  • Supporting: ./.

We all enjoy the services that an ecosystem might provide: fragrant flowers and medicinal plantlife, clean drinking water, a tree's cool breeze. Be it forest, wetland or pastoral hills, our land provides us with ecosystem services that affect its immediate stakeholders and society as a whole.

The ELD approach is geared towards preserving nature while simultaneously preserving and improving the livelihood of people. Nature is valued as highly as we are because without its resources, we wouldn't be able to survive and thrive. The desire to make a living may drive people to do things that degrade the land they are living on. Poverty is a strong driver of land degradation, but there are other forces too.

Join us for an exciting week... one where we will explore the relationship between stakeholders and ecosystem services.