Village Earth Offers New Course in Community-Based Forest Management

In recent years, more prominence has been given to the potential of community-based use, management and conservation of natural resources as a way to sustainably use and conserve natural resources, while improving the livelihoods of rural people. Community-Based Forest Management has been hailed by advocates for its effectiveness in promoting conservation and maintaining traditional livelihoods, while simultaneously developing local economies. For these reasons, Village Earth has developed an online course on the topic, as we believe that it will help  development practitioners in applying this innovative and respectful approach to resource management.

In the past, forest policy was based on the notion that indigenous people using the forests were ignorant and destructive. However, many practitioners and experts are now realizing that these local communities are actually the most interested parties in the sustainable management of their forests, given that it is their source of life. Additionally, local communities are often top experts on the forest ecosystem. Using these concepts, community-based conservation (CBC) approaches aim to involve local people in the management of natural resources and to adjust management practices to their needs. This course will review the scope and significance of CBC, as well as the best practices in the support and establishment of such initiatives. If you are interested in joining GSLL 1520 Community-Based Forest Management (which will run for its first time starting June 24, 2011) please visit our website for more details. You can also review our other course offerings in our growing program.

New Course on Community-Based Food Systems

The cultivation, preparation, distribution, and consumption of food are rich processes that shape how we organize ourselves socially, economically, and politically. Control over food systems at the community level is central to self-determination and sustainability. In this seminar, students will learn about various approaches to building community-based food systems and movements for food justice around the world. This seminar will evaluate successful efforts at food system relocalization and the protection of community food resources, as well as the factors that threaten these efforts. With a special consideration for the needs of indigenous, marginalized, low-income, and migrant communities, students will develop a conceptual toolkit and set of resources that will allow them to assess the limitations and possibilities of their own community’s food system. This course will help to support community-based food systems efforts by creating linkages between students, information and resources. It will be taught by Teresa Mares, who is currently a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at the University of Washington. To participate in this course, enroll now.