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University of Leeds

Environmental Challenges: Hierarchy in Property Rights

University of Leeds via FutureLearn


Increasing populations and social changes are pressurising our relationship with the environment. Property rights are embedded in power structures and land management. This course explores the different ways that nature is perceived by different types of societies and the impact of property rights on natural resource management.

This course explores three approaches to the hierarchy of property rights, and applies these to environmental use and management around the world. It also includes advice on producing a policy brief for an environmental issue.

The course is suitable for anyone with a general interest in environmental decision-making; no previous knowledge or experience is required.

If you are working in environmental management, or wish to learn more about it, this course is designed to support you as a professional. By completing all aspects of the course you will have achieved 14 hours of CPD time.


  • The principles of hierarchy in property rights
    • Welcome
    • Hunter-gatherers vs agriculturalists
    • Hierarchy of property rights
    • More people, less erosion
    • Revision
    • Summary
  • Applying the principles
    • About week 2
    • Case study: Power and rights
    • Discussion: the language of nature
    • Writing about – Policy brief
    • Revision
    • Summary

Taught by

Jon Lovett


5.0 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

4.5 rating at FutureLearn based on 13 ratings

Start your review of Environmental Challenges: Hierarchy in Property Rights

  • Anonymous
    I took this course to review the basic concepts of property rights.

    I am very well pleased with how the syllabus was structured, and the course content presented. Clearly this was designed by educators who have experience in the field, and the learning materials gone through by communications specialists.

    Clearly the Uni of Leeds has an edge over other universities!
  • Anonymous
    This course really broadened my perspective and understanding of property rights in relation to the environment. There were some great examples illustrating the complexity of the issues in settings I had not previously considered in any detail.
  • Anonymous
    The course was easy to access for an undergrad student, yet also challenging. I really enjoyed taking it, especially because it made me consider angles and points of view that I previously hadn't. Great course!

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