• Class Number 1365
  • Term Code 3020
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Ian Fry
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 17/02/2020
  • Class End Date 08/05/2020
  • Census Date 06/03/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 18/02/2020
    • Dr George Carter
SELT Survey Results

The course focuses on the dynamic field of international environmental policy (IEP), a field that has grown rapidly and dramatically over the last three decades, driven by concern over unprecedented and large-scale global environmental change, including climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, marine degradation, and expanding trade and consumption. International environmental policy now directly and indirectly affects the behaviour and decisions of governments, corporations, NGOs, local communities and individuals.


The course takes an interdisciplinary approach, drawing insights from areas including ecology, law, economics, international relations and politics, and incorporates lectures, guest speakers from NGOs and government, panel discussions, debates and workshops, with an emphasis on understanding the real-world dynamics of policy formation and debate.

The course will cover the nature of IEP; its development over recent decades; the actors and institutions which form and influence it; and the conflicts which shape it. Key areas of debate within IEP will be examined, including tensions between conservation and development; conflicts around knowledge, science, and uncertainty; and reliance on 'command and control' vs market-based approaches.


Cross-cutting issues include gender, the fight against poverty, and the role of corporations. These issues will be explored through analysis of topical case studies, such as equity and climate change; biodiversity and livelihoods; biofuels and deforestation; and genetically modified organisms and international trade.


Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately. There are additional session for post-graduates

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Broadly explain the development and nature of international environmental policy (IEP), including the operation of regimes
  2. Explain and critically analyse key debates that shape IEP, and the key challenges it faces
  3. Explain and critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of international governance responses to environmental issues
  4. Design, participate in, and lead group learning processes and activities in the context of environmental policy

Required Resources

There is no specific text for the course. Suggested reading will be provided on the Wattle website.

There is no specific text for the course. Suggested reading will be provided on the Wattle website.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Study Group

I have set aside two sessions for an informal Study Group. This is to help students who may have difficulties with the course material. There is one group in the first and second week. Attendance at this study group is entirely voluntary.

It will be in an open format so that people can ask questions and seek clarifications about issues. This is to make sure that nobody is left behind, due to language issues and study difficulties.

Adjustments to delivery in 2020

Course delivery and assessment in 2020 was adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any information below that replaces what was published in the Class Summary for Summer, 2020 was approved by the Associate Dean Education (as is required after 10% commencement of a course). Where an activity or assessment is not referenced below, it remains unchanged.

Teaching Activities

  • Lectures were-recorded using Echo360 and available through Wattle, with selected scheduled lecture sessions live on Zoom for discussion.
  • Tutorials were conducted live via Zoom at originally scheduled time slot instead of in person delivery.


Adjustments were made to assignment due dates; for details see the course Wattle site.

  • Postgraduate paper presentations and discussions were held on Zoom.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 This course is delivered on an intensive basis over the course of 10 full teaching days (9:00-17:00) over two teaching blocks (17-21 February and 5-9 April 2020). Themes covered during the course: A: Introduction to International Environmental Policy Course introduction and overview Global Trends and Development Challenges International Environmental Issues The challenge of international environmental cooperation Institutions Settings of IEP and the role of Science B: The Development of International Environmental Policy The evolution of IEP: from Stockholm to Johannesburg The Sustainable Development Goals C: The Making of Treaty Regimes The policy-making process: treaties and treaty regimes Looking at the Regimes: Different Approaches for Different Environmental Issues Flow on Effects: Migration, Security and Climate Change D: Issues and Directions in IEP Globalisation, markets, trade and the environment Governance without Governments The World Economic Forum: Is this the Policy Forum for our Future? Public-Private Partnerships in Policy Making Other Voices in the Debate The Role of Non Government Organisations E: Negotiating a Treaty The Negotiation Process The Day in the Life of a Negotiator F: The Future of International Environmental Policy Upcoming International Environmental Issues G: Negotiation Simulation Conference of Parties Negotiation Simulation (Climate Change Adaptation) A detailed program is study is available on the course Wattle site.
2 Environmental Video Festival Each afternoon one or a number of short videos will be shown. These videos will focus on environmental issues around the globe. Many of these issues, you won’t see in the mainstream media. They will be sequenced to follow the course programme. At the end of each showing, we will have an open forum to discuss the content. Perhaps we will give the videos a star rating as well. Students and staff from other programmes will be invited to come along and participate in the viewings and discussion. Unfortunately, we will not be meeting any of the stars or directors. The videos originate from the internet so the quality may vary. Attending the Environmental Video Festival and participation in the discussions will be included in your participation assessment. Video themes may include: The State of the World The End of the Line (over-exploitation of global fisheries) From Stockholm to Johannesburg – major international conferences on environment and development Trade and the Environment Saving the Forests: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) The Media and Climate Change Negotiating

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Web blog on an international treaty 10 % 21/02/2020 25/02/2020 1
Policy paper 40 % 05/04/2020 08/05/2020 2,3
Tutorial facilitation and participation 20 % * * 2,3
Mini-Conference of Parties (COP) 15 % 09/04/2020 08/05/2020 1,2,3,4
Seminar Summaries 15 % * * 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Participation in this course requires as a minimum:

  • attendance and positive contribution to tutorials
  • tutorial facilitation
  • submission of all assignments
  • attendance at video screenings
  • a collective assessment of at least 50%

Sustainable Development Goals Group Exercise:

This involves a mind mapping exercise to develop a greater understanding of some key Sustainable Development Goals and how they may be evaluated. This is not a directly assessable exercise although attendance will count towards tutorial input result. It will be also important as guidance towards the Policy Paper assignment. Pre-reading is required for this exercise (see Wattle).


There is no formal examination for this course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 21/02/2020
Return of Assessment: 25/02/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1

Web blog on an international treaty

Students are to work in pairs to prepare a weblog on an international environmental treaty. They are to provide an overview of the treaty and a recent feature relating to the implementation of the treaty. Student pairs will be able to select a treaty to write on based on a list provided by the lecturer at the commencement of the course.

Due date: 21/2/20

Word limit: 500 words

Presentation requirements:

Students will be provided with a template for the weblog. The blog will require the inclusion of graphics and written content.

The assessment will be primarily based on the quality of the information provided. Layout and writing style appropriate for a weblog will be a minor aspect of assessment.

Estimated return date: 25 February

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 05/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 08/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2,3

Policy paper

The policy paper is an individual research and writing exercise to be carried out at the complete of the intensive. The topic for the policy papers will be explained during the course. You are encouraged to draw on and integrate material presented/discussed in class and tutorials as well as your own research. Topics and more detailed guidance, including an important style guide, will be available on Wattle.

The assessment of the Policy Paper will be based on:

Scholarship: How widely has the student researched the question? Have authoritative sources been used (rather than primarily non-scholarly sources such as Wikipedia)? Is this information reflected in the policy brief? How accurate, detailed, and well-evidenced is the work?

Understanding: To what extent has the student grasped the issues involved? To what extent have their complexities, their links to other relevant IEP issues, and links to broader issues been understood?

Depth and reflection: To what extent has the student thought about and reflected on the issues involved and the viewpoints expressed (their’s or others’)? To what extent are the complexities of the issues involved recognised and addressed: for instance, to what extent have the “downsides” of any policy prescriptions or “ways forward” presented been considered? Has the student been able to come to personal, well-supported conclusions or opinions on issues discussed?

Structure, presentation and flow: Is the paper well-organised, with clear and logical headings (preferred) or textual “signposts”? Are information and arguments arranged in logical order, and are they integrated into a coherent whole? Are arguments well-supported by evidence (this overlaps with other categories)? Is punctuation, spelling and grammar correct? Are diagrams, tables, pictures or other aids to communication used where helpful or necessary? Is the essay easy to read and follow?

Targeting the readership: Has the student targeted the policy brief to the reader?

Word limit: 3000 words (not including references)

Due date: 5/4/20

Estimated return date: 8/5/20

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 2,3

Tutorial facilitation and participation

Readings and Responses for each Tutorial (10%):

For each tutorial you will have two papers which you will be required to read.

For each tutorial I will provide one paper for everyone to read. I will also provide a set of questions which everyone will be required to answer and provide to me, before the tutorial commences. This should be submitted on the Wattle site. You will discuss the responses to these questions during the tutorial.

For the first tutorial I will also provide a second paper for you to read. I will provide questions for you to discuss during the tutorial. You do not need to submit your responses to the second paper.

From the second tutorial onward, the tutorial will be facilitated by pairs of students. Like the first tutorial, I will provide a paper for everyone to read and you will be required to provide answers to questions and submit these on the Wattle Site.

In addition, each student facilitation pair will provide an additional paper for you to read. You will be required to answer the questions set by the facilitators during the tutorial. You will be expected to undertake activities and discussions during the tutorial.

In summary, for each tutorial you will have two papers to read. You will need to submit answers to the first paper I provide. You will discuss responses to the second paper during the tutorial.

Student-led tutorials (10%):

Pairs of students will facilitate a tutorial for the class. Topics will be given out on the first day of the course, and the guidance for facilitators will be available via Wattle.

Tutorial preparation for facilitators

Readings: You will be given a short introduction note to the topic. You will need to find a paper for your tutorial group in addition to the one provided by me. You should set some questions for the tute group to discuss based on the reading you have provided. You should also prepare some activities for students to undertake. This could be a debate, a game, a video, etc.

The reading you provide and the discussion questions you have set should be uploaded to the IEP Wattle site at least one day (24 hours) before the tutorial, to give other students enough time to read the suggested paper and prepare responses.

Tutorial preparation if you are not facilitating a tutorial

Those not facilitating the tutorial will be required to submit answers to the questions I have set prior to the start of the tutorial. You will need to post this to the Wattle site before the start of the tutorial.

You will also need to come to the tutorial with answers to the questions set by the facilitators. These answers do not need to be submitted.

Any tutorials missed without a valid excuse (i.e. sickness will require a doctor’s certificate) will incur a penalty of 2% of the participation mark (i.e. 2% of your overall course mark).

Tutorial assessment is based on four elements:

Preparation of one-page responses to questions provided by me and input to the discussion based on the questions set by the facilitators.

Tutorial facilitation (each student will facilitate once during the course)

Tutorial facilitation will be assessed partly by tutorial members (student peers). An assessment sheet for peer review will be provided.

Students are expected to contribute on an on-going basis during the face-to-face component of the course. The date range for this task comprises the start of the session and the date final results are published on ISIS.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 09/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 08/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Mini-Conference of Parties (COP)

As a final exercise during the course, drawing together much of what you have learnt in the course, we will be having a mini –COP (Conference of the Parties) negotiation exercise. We will try to simulate an actual international agreement negotiation. Each participant will be given a fictitious country to represent. You will work in pairs. You will be given a briefing on your country’s position and background material on the issue. You will start the day by meeting in your regional group. Then we will meet in an opening plenary setting where each country will be expected to give an opening statement on the issue. Participants will then meet in regional groupings again to find common positions. Finally, we meet in a contact group format where we will negotiate a decision for adoption by the COP. In preparation for this simulation you will be given a lecture on the negotiation process.

Due date: 9/04/20

Expected return date: 08/05/20

Assessment Task 5

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Seminar Summaries

You will need to attend five extra seminars where we will discuss key issues in international environmental policy. For each seminar you will be given two papers to read. This means you will need to read ten papers for the course (at least). I will post a list of the papers and a selection table on Wattle.

You will need to prepare short answers set for each paper for each of the seminar sessions. The seminar summaries will need to be posted on to Wattle prior to each seminar session. They should not be more than one page, double sided. We will then discuss each paper and your responses during the seminar session.

Students are expected to contribute on an on-going basis during the face-to-face component of the course. The date range for this task comprises the start of the session and the date final results are published on ISIS.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Feedback for the Policy will be provided via Turnitin. Feedback for all other assessments will be provided by email.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission is permitted. Please discuss with course convener if required.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Ian Fry

Research Interests

Dr Ian Fry

By Appointment
Dr George Carter

Research Interests

Dr George Carter

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions