Special Topics in Sustainable Development, to be offered in Fall 2016

This course is the second sequence for MPP students who wish to have a concentration in sustainable development and environmental policy. Students will have an opportunity to learn and understand the importance of the water-food-energy nexus  in meeting many development goals. Selected topics will be drawn from LMPPI’s various research projects and FETP’s expertise such as sustainable agriculture, food security, the environmental dimensions of energy development, the valuation of ecological services, urban development and environment, water governance, and sustainable livelihoods and migration.

Sustainable Development and Environmental Policy

This course is designed to equip students at the Fulbright School with essential knowledge in environmental economics and policy issues. The course introduces students to concepts in sustainability, discusses environmental issues facing the countries in the Mekong Basin, and explores possible solutions to the problems. Part I introduces various concepts of use and non-use values of the environment. Then, students learn many techniques to apply for estimating the “willingness to pay” for environmental goods and services, such as hedonic valuation, travel cost method, choice modeling, and contingent valuation. Part II focuses on urban and rural development in Viet Nam. Students will have an opportunity to understand the characteristics of urbanization, and implications for sustainable urban development in Viet Nam. Students also discuss key rural development issues and the strategies constructed by Vietnamese society and the government to address these challenges. Samples of student projects include climate change and impacts on rice and coffee production, sea level rises and impacts on agricultural land and flooding in the Mekong Delta.