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Environment, Development, and Human Rights e-Course

Course Description

This certificate course offered by the Human Rights Center of the University for Peace looks at the linkages between the environment, development, 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.

The course is based on a dynamic pedagogy including reading materials, video clips, case studies, and interactive webinars with the instructor.

Course outline

  • Week 1: Introduction to Environment, Development, 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: Human Rights Based Approaches to Climate Change adaptation and mitigation
  • Week 5: New emerging legal nexus: Environment, human rights and mobility
  • Week 6: Addressing Human Rights and the Environment in the Post-2015 SDG Agenda

Who Should Apply

The course is intended for staff members of civil society organisations and (inter)governmental organisations involved in the fields of environmental protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation, policy making on environmental issues, development work, human rights, education, health etc. Candidates should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use.

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.

Course Fee

For Certificate: Fee for taking this course is USD 600. UPEACE students and almuni enrolling for the Certificate course are entitled to 30% discount on the fee.

For Auditing: It is also possible to audit the course, in which case, participants will not receive a certificate. Auditors, however, will have access to all course material, be able to participate in the synchronous webinar sessions, and be able to monitor the online discussions of participants. The fee for auditing the course is USD 200.

For Certificate and 2 Academic Credits: Participants are also able to take the course for two academic credits offered by UPEACE. The cost of taking the course for 2 academic credits is USD 1100.

Application Procedure

To apply, please send an email to along with your CV and a short Statement of Purpose (not more than 500 words) indicating the motivation for taking the course. Applicants will be contacted within three working days of the application. The course is limited to 25 participants.


Payments may be made either by credit card or by wire transfer. Payment by wire transfer usually takes three to four business days to be deposited in our account. Payment by credit card is instant.

If you wish to make the payment by credit card, please go to

Payments by wire transfer must be made to the following bank account:

Universidad para la Paz
Banco Nacional de Costa Rica
Bank account number:100-02-099-600195-4
Swift Code: BNCRCRSJ and IBAN: CR5715109910026001958
Avenidas 1 y 3, Calle 4
San José, Costa Rica