Climate Change and Forestry: Monitoring and Policies

Course content

Course content and focus

The first part of the course deals with climate change risks, mitigation, and adaptation in relation to forestry. It also introduces the concept of forest carbon projects and associated terminology such as additionality, permanence, leakage, and co-benefits. The second part of the course introduces global policies and voluntary initiatives to reduce emissions; particular attention is paid to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and enhancing forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+). In the last part of the course, students write a supervised term paper that relates forestry and climate change to the global debate on sustainable development.


Relation to the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The course particularly relates to SDGs 13 and 15:

SDG13. Climate Action: Deforestation and forest degradation in low-income countries directly account for nearly 20% of human-made annual greenhouse gas emissions. The course specifically focuses on how forests can be governed to mitigate rather than contribute to global climate change. 

SDG15. Life on Land: In addition to carbon storage and C02 sequestration, forests, especially natural forests, are habitats for most of the Earth's terrestrial life forms. Further, the hydrological functions of mountain forests contribute to life-supporting rivers and streams throughout the world.



Digitization is mainly included in the course as part of digital information collection and literature search


MSc Programme in Environmental Science
MSc Programme in Forest and Nature Management
MSc Programme in Sustainable Forest and Nature Management
MSc Programme in Sustainable Tropical Forestry

Learning outcome

This course focuses on enabling students’ ability to apply scientific knowledge and reasoning to critically assess and discuss climate change and forestry with particular emphasis on monitoring mechanisms and policies.


Understand key contemporary issues related to climate change and forestry, including forest-dependency, deforestation, national and global forest policy and processes, and the potential of using market-based mechanisms to promote sustainable forest management.

Apply principles, theories, and frameworks (i) on climate change and forestry and (ii) to judge the quality of related scientific publications. Communicate clearly, concisely and confidently in written format

The students obtain (i) knowledge about climate change, forests and livelihood relationships, (ii) ability to critically assess and discuss discourses and evidence in this area, (iii) ability to assess how science is used in policy debates, and (iv) ability and experience in interacting and discussing in professional forums.

The course is entirely online. Each theme is structured as a standard format e-module: (i) students study provided topic literature; texts and problems are continuously discussed online with the module-responsible faculty, (ii) facilitated by course responsible faculty and specially invited resource persons, students discuss exercises with each other online, and (iii) the students interact with supervisors on the term paper.

All material is provided online.

The course draws on basic elements of economic theory and management of renewable natural resources all or part of which are introduced in a wide range of undergraduate programmes.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Continuous feedback during the course
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Type of assessment details
Students eligible to participate in the exam will be assessed according to (i) their completion of exercises throughout the course, and (ii) a supervised term paper.

Weight: Completion of exercises count 80% in the final grade and the term paper counts 20%.

The final grade is calculated as the weighted average of the results from the part-examinations.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
More than one internal examiner
Criteria for exam assessment

To obtain the grade 12 the student must fullfil the Learning Outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 60
  • Theory exercises
  • 20
  • Project work
  • 111
  • Guidance
  • 10
  • Exam
  • 5
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 4
This is an online course run across seven European universities. The workload corresponds to 7.5 ECTS.
No limits
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Natural Resources, Environment and Animal Science
Contracting department
  • Department of Food and Resource Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinators
  • Niels Strange   (3-727778446d6a7673326f7932686f)
  • Thorsten Treue   (3-787876446d6a7673326f7932686f)

Faculty at the University of Padova, Italy will teach the non-term paper part of the course. Faculty at the University of Copenhagen will supervise the term paper.

Saved on the 28-02-2022

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