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Global forests and land-use decisions

SG0277 Global forests and land-use decisions, 7.5 Credits

Globala skogar och beslut om markanvändning

Syllabus approved



Forest science

Education cycle

Master’s level

Advanced study in the main field

Second cycle, only first-cycle courses as entry requirements(A1N)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

The equivalent of 120 credits at basic level including
- 60 credits in Forest Science or
- 60 credits in Forest Management or
- 60 credits in Forestry Science or
- 60 credits in Biology or
- 60 credits in Environmental Sciences or
- 60 credits in Landscape Architecture or
- 60 credits in Agricultural Sciences or
- 60 credits in Natural Resource Management or
- 60 credits in Natural Geography or
- 60 credits in Political Sciences
English 6.


The overarching aim of this course is to provide an in-depth understanding of global forests and land-use dynamics. In this five-weeks intensive course, students will actively engage in conceptual understanding and empirical evidence-based dialogues on how multi-stakeholder decisions impact the way forest land-use is implemented with focus on the Global South, but also using comparative European perspective. The key is in identification and interpretation of influential driving (f)actors for forest land-use transition within the context of sustainable forest management. Students will gain an insight to historical relationships, present scenarios, and future complexities of land use in forested landscapes and changes in rural, urban and indigenous territories. This analysis will be based within the broader context of how strategic decision-making can help cope with the consequences for example of biodiversity conservation, land-use change induced displacements, deforestation, plantations, and urbanization. A few key concepts include forest and people science, decision-making, multi-stakeholder negotiations, case studies and ethics, and socio-political framework.

After completing the course, the student should be able to

- critically analyse the key drivers, including agents and structures, for forest land-use change
- demonstrate the ability to holistically compare forest and land-use case studies in Global South and Europe
- demonstrate knowledge about multi-stakeholders and their strategic land-use decisions
- creatively use relevant communication tools/mediums to convey complex cases
- demonstrate integrity and ethics in analysing contested land-use issues, and
- apply case study qualitative methodology to investigate the field-based scenarios.


Globally forest and land-use changes are being driven by increasing market value of timber, agro-food and minerals. The consequences of these changes impact biodiversity ecosystems, including livelihood needs of food, water and shelter for billion people, particularly vulnerable communities. This course is designed to offer opportunities to explore stakeholder perspectives in formulating, advocating, sharing and implementing strategic decisions on forest and land-use with focus on the Global South, but including European cases. By bringing together a diverse range of multilateral/bilateral agencies, scientific experts, governments, think tanks, timber industries, land justice forums, media and artists, civil-societies, this course will explore ways to strengthen partnerships for coping with forest and land-use change that is equitable e.g., ethnicity, gender and social inclusion and ethical e.g., recognition, justice, in the long-term aligning with the Agenda 2030. In this intensive short-term (7.5 credits) course, students will be exposed to literature review, field-based comparative case-studies such as collective forest and land tenure rights, restorations or land-grabs, and group projects that expose them to complexities of real-world decision making and developing skills in using case-study methods, ethics and communication. Seminars are compulsory.

Formats and requirements for examination

Approved participation in compulsory seminars and approved completion of oral and written assignments.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Additional information

SLU is environmentally certified according to ISO 14001. A large part of our courses cover knowledge and skills that contribute positively to the environment. To further strengthen this, we have specific environmental goals for the education. Students are welcome to suggest actions regarding the course’s content and implementation that lead to improvements for the environment. For more information, see webpage

Responsible department

Department of Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre

Further information

Determined by: Vice dekan S-fak
Replaces: SG0233 (del av)
There are no Grading criteria posted for this course

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes The course is offered as a programme course: Euroforester - Master´s Programme Forest Science - Master´s Programme Forest Management - Bachelor´s Programme Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 19027 SEK Cycle: Master’s level
Subject: Forest science
Course code: SG0277 Application code: SLU-20113 Location: Alnarp Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre Pace: 100%