Global Forestry and Climate Change

Course content

The course will introduce students to theories and key concepts about how human activities impact forest carbon sinks through land use, land-use change and forestry activities. It will provide knowledge on assessing global deforestation and forest degradation and the accompanying greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, the course will provide students with knowledge on international frameworks and mechanisms for monitoring and managing forest carbon, such as REDD+ and LULUCF and examples of how the international frameworks are implemented at national and local levels. Finally, the course will equip students with competencies and skills to critically analyse implications for biodiversity conservation and Indigenous peoples’ rights.


MSc Programme in Global Forestry

Learning outcome

This course enables students to apply scientific knowledge and reasoning to critically assess and discuss climate change and forestry, emphasising monitoring mechanisms and policies. Students will explore key concepts in measuring, reporting and monitoring forest carbon (MRV), including advanced methods to assess changes in forest cover and forest loss and the quantification of related greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, students will be familiar with international policies and initiatives to halt deforestation and forest degradation, focusing on forests’ importance for climate change mitigation and implications for forest biodiversity, environmental services, and the potential role of local and Indigenous Peoples.

After completing the course, the students should be able to:


  • Understand key contemporary issues related to forestry and climate change, including deforestation and forest degradation, global forest policy and processes, and the potential and drawbacks of using market-based mechanisms to promote sustainable forest management and forest conservation.
  • Understand the role of forests in relation to cross-cutting issues such as gender, culture, and climate justice.



  • Apply principles, theories, and frameworks on climate change and forestry.
  • Apply basic approaches for carbon accounting and monitoring, including international tools to assess baselines, additionality, transaction costs, safeguards, and environmental services.
  • Transfer forest monitoring and governance methods to own research situation.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely about the topic in written format.


  • Reflect on the role of forests in climate change mitigation, focusing on forests as carbon sinks.
  • Include the Paris Agreement concerning forests in overall forest governance analyses.
  • Comprehend the mechanisms and governance of Reduced Emmissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) projects.
  • Identify and analyse voluntary and institutional initiatives for the reduction and compensation of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Recognise trends, critical aspects and limits of the voluntary carbon markets.
  • Account for the importance of shared and credible standards.
  • Recognise examples of best practices and limitations in forest carbon projects.
  • Understand the role of private investors and investments and the growing role of forest plantations.

The course is composed of alternating lectures, exercises and discussions. The lectures give an overview of theory and examples of practical application and serve to link different disciplines and spur critical discussions. Students will present scientific papers in class, and exercises will demonstrate the application of different methods and provide hands-on experience in carbon monitoring.

Course materials include selected scientific articles, book chapters, lecture notes, video clips, and slideshows. These are all accessible through the course homepage.

The course is designed for students from a broad range of disciplines, i.e. forestry, biology, natural resources and environmental studies.
It is recommended to have Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 5 days
Type of assessment details
Students are assessed through a teacher-commented assignment (essay).
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examiner

As the ordinary exam.

Criteria for exam assessment

To obtain grade 12, the student must fulfil the Learning Outcomes

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 48
  • Preparation
  • 89
  • Exercises
  • 35
  • E-Learning
  • 24
  • Excursions
  • 10
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 2
Global Forestry students follow “Preparing Global Forestry Fieldwork” in block 2 suggested for schedule C as a compulsory course. These two courses must fall under different schedules
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 Coordinator
  • Ida Theilade   (4-6b666376426b687471306d7730666d)

Jens Friis Lund (IFRO) and teachers from collaborating European universities.

Saved on the 28-02-2023

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