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University of Leeds

Environmental Challenges: Rights and Values in Ecosystem Services

University of Leeds via FutureLearn


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Humans are very innovative, but we’ve also created many ecological problems. We’ve changed the face of the planet, fished the oceans, and we’re causing climate change through emissions.

Designing institutional arrangements that recognise ecosystem services in the values we place upon natural systems will be an important way to help governing the planet, for both present and future generations.

This course explores three approaches to rights and values, and applies these to ecosystem services around the world. It also includes advice on producing press releases about environmental issues.

The course is suitable for anyone with a general interest in values and 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 rights and values
    • Welcome
    • Activity 1 - The nature of values
    • Activity 2 – Coasian bargaining
    • Activity 3 – The precautionary principle
    • Revision
    • Summary
  • Applying the principles
    • About week 2
    • Case study: Precaution and the nature of values
    • Discussion: Ecosystem services
    • Writing about – Press releases
    • Revision
    • Summary

Taught by

Jon Lovett


3.7 rating, based on 7 Class Central reviews

4.5 rating at FutureLearn based on 46 ratings

Start your review of Environmental Challenges: Rights and Values in Ecosystem Services

  • Anonymous
    Interesting and valuable module. A step towards a better understanding of complex ecosystem policy issues. I understand that individual feedback is not possible and actually not necessary because you already learn a lot with peer feedback, but I sometimes missed some overall feedback on the discussions. Sometimes a little adjustment is very valuable.
  • Anonymous
    The course was challenging but doable. For me it has led to viewing environmental issues in a more personal and spiritual way.
  • Christophe Walimbwa
    The course is very good and provides very high exposure of environmental management and understanding to the leaners.
  • Robert Monro
    This is a good introductory course for anyone interested in "valuing" ecosystem services, but left me feeling rather empty-handed at the end of it. That is to say, I didn't feel that I could use the knowledge I had gained in any practical way. When…
  • Anonymous
    This is my fifth course in the Environmental Challenges series, great for someone like me who is interested in grappling with values and rights in an environmental context. Jon is an excellent and thoughtful teacher, clearly with a wealth of experience, and passionate about his subject. I particularly enjoy how he challenges us as learners, not just with facts, but with concepts we may not have encountered previously, and also his direct involvement in our discussions.
  • Anonymous
    Environmental Challenges: Rights and Values in Ecosystem services is un interesting informative and very usefull course.

    With the course I consolidated the learning of the concepts of sustainability and I found that science has advanced a lot on the subject which makes environmental problems more easily measurable and quantifiable.
  • Anonymous
    This is a great course for people who are curious about the topics and a good way to introduce new ideas and research projects. This is not structured and graded how I expected, ideally the the teacher Jon would be grading the research assignments. However it is still a great course!

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