- Code ENVS2005
- Unit Value 6 to 12 units
- Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Environmental Science
- Areas of interest Geography, Human Ecology, Development Studies, Pacific Studies, Sustainable Development
Intensive course incl. in-country experience (pending lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions). Enrolment limited. See "Other Information".
Small island states face considerable challenges as they attempt to achieve sustainable development. Particular challenges for these nations were recognised in the 1984 Barbados Programme of Action for Small Island Developing States and in the 2014 SAMOA Pathway. These meetings recognised that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have a narrow range of resources, which forces undue specialization; excessive dependence on international trade and hence vulnerability to global developments; relatively small watersheds and threatened supplies of fresh water; costly public administration and infrastructure, including transportation and communication; and limited institutional capacities and domestic markets, which are too small to provide significant scale economies.
The particular challenges faced by a Fiji as a SIDS will explored in this course. The field trip aims to give students a first-hand experience of the real-world circumstances that confront an island nation by exploring important sectoral themes in the context of sustainable development.
The course will investigate the interactions between economic development and the sustainable management of key sectors including fisheries, agriculture, water catchment management, tourism, waste management, cultural heritage management and marine and coastal biodiversity. Within each theme students will consider factors relevant to island nations, including climate change, natural disasters, water availability, gender, cultural identity, population and race relations, governance and globalization.
The course will be undertaken in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific’s Pacific Centre for Sustainable Development PACE-SD.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Understand the complex social, environmental and cultural challenges that confront an island nation, like Fiji
- Interact with people from another country in a culturally sensitive manner
- Apply interdisciplinary approaches to resolving sustainable development issues in an island context
- Effectively present and discuss ideas, and to listen, assess and respond to ideas of others
- Apply observation skills and to document these pictorially showing perceptions towards unfamiliar cultural and environmental circumstances and their linkages
- Undertake analysis of issues related to island sustainable development and to present these in a coherent manner
This is an intensive course offered on an annual basis including an in country field based experience in early July. Enrolment is limited and merit based. Students must register an expression of interest to enrol via the following website by 2 March 2020.
There are additional field trip fees of approximately $1100 applicable to participation in this course (payment to ANU Science Shop). Students will also need to cover the costs of their own airfares as well as some meals.
- Students taking the 6 unit version will complete the following assessment: (null) [LO null]
- Pre-trip preparatory test (10) [LO 1]
- Learning and photographic journal (~2200 words) (30) [LO 1,3,4,5,6]
- Group project during Field School short communication paper (1000 words) (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,6]
- Policy paper (2000 words) (30) [LO 1,2,3]
- Students taking the 12 unit version will complete the following assessment: (null) [LO null]
- Pre-trip preparatory exam (10) [LO 1,3,4,5]
- Learning and photographic journal (~2200 words) (30) [LO 1,3,4,5,6]
- Group project short communication paper during Field School (to be posted up as a blog on Wattle site) (1500 words) (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,6]
- Analytical research paper (3000 words) (30) [LO 1,2,3]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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WorkloadTwo days of seminars and preparatory work on aspects of island sustainable development, at the ANU on a weekend in April. Ten day Field School in Fiji (early-mid July) (excluding travel two and from Fiji) plus additional personal study.
To be determined
Requisite and Incompatibility
- Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2010) Trends in Sustainable Development: Small Island Developing States (SIDS), 46 pp. http://www.sidsnet.org/sites/default/files/resources/trends_in_sustainable_development_sids.pdf.
- Prasad, BC and Tisdell, CA (2006) Institutions, Economic Performance and Sustainable Development: A Case Study of the Fiji Islands, Nova Science Pub., 278 pp. (extracts to be provided).
- Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (2012) Fiji Country Report, in: Pacific Regional MDGs Tracking Report, p 49-60, 212. http://www.forumsec.org/resources/uploads/attachments/documents/MDG%20Track%20Rpt%20web%2020122.pdf.
- Read, R (2006) Sustainable natural resource use and economic development in small states: the tuna fisheries in Fiji and Samoa, Sustainable Development, 14:2, 93-103.
- Veitayaki, J. (2006) Caring for the Environment and the Mitigation of Natural Extreme Events in Gau, Fiji Islands: A Self-help Community Initiative, Island Studies Journal, 1:2, 239-252
Recommended courses: ENVS1001 Environment and Society: Geography of Sustainability, ENVS1003 Introduction to Environmental and Social Research, ENVS1008 Sustainable Development, ENVS2011 Human Ecology, ENVS2013 Society and Environmental Change, ENVS2014 Qualitative Research Methods for Sustainability, ENVS3021 Human Futures, ENVS3040 Resolving Complex Environmental Problems, PASI3005 Pacific Islands Field School.
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- Unit value:
- 6 to 12 units
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