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Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development EAM Master programmes in the Netherlands Preparing students for working with environmental assessment in.

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Presentation on theme: "Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development EAM Master programmes in the Netherlands Preparing students for working with environmental assessment in."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development EAM Master programmes in the Netherlands Preparing students for working with environmental assessment in practice? dr. Hens Runhaar Environmental Governance Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development Utrecht University

2 Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development Main observations There are no specific EAM master programmes in the Netherlands … which is no problem for working with EA after graduation … … but may be a problem for working on EA!

3 Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development Environmental Master programmes in the Netherlands Master programmes at six Universities (Amsterdam, Groningen, Nijmegen, Heerlen, Wageningen, Utrecht) Natural sciences, social sciences and mixed programmes 1-2 years

4 Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development After graduation Graduates from Utrecht University, Master Sustainable development: 91% has a regular job, of which 78% in the environmental domain Main employers: consultancy firms and universities; others include governments, NGOs, companies and educational institutes 43% advisor, 25% researcher, 13% project leader or policy maker Many will be confronted with EA in some way

5 Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development CBS, figures ,000 fte jobs, turnover 11.1 billion 1.6% total employment, almost 2% GNP

6 Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development Environmental assessment in Dutch Environmental Master programmes Nowhere specific modules on EA Aspects of EA frequently taught, particularly in environmental sciences Masters: –Environmental modelling –Scenario and sensitivity analysis –Evaluation methods and software, such as MCA and LCA –Policy impact assessments –Environmental management –Environmental law and policy –Working in multidisciplinary teams

7 Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development Graduates working with EA 2/3 of our UU SD graduates (EPM) often work with EA: –Conducting EAs (consultants) –Obliged to have EAs conducted (planners) –Advising on EA systems in new EU MS (consultants) Generally consider themselves well-equipped –But have to learn about legal and technical aspects in practice

8 Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development Working on EA in practice Reflecting on EA legislation and practice Provide recommendations for improvement Requires primarily a social scientific perspective: is EA effective and worthwhile executing? – At project level – At system level

9 Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development Working on EA in practice EA professionals are mainly working with EA Working on EA mainly limited to technical perfection? – E.g. EA and health, climate change – Dealt with in well established networks (e.g. IAIA, NCEA) Relatively little social scientific research – Last large-scale scientific evaluation over a decade ago – Legislative changes driven by other reasons than effectiveness – Not a very popular topic at Dutch universities – How many practitioners have insight into developments at system level?

10 Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development Training Master students to work on EA in practice? May be useful: – Current trend: simplify EA, reduce administrative burden – Reflecting a negative attitude towards EA? – Many will be working with EA in some way! – Mobilise knowledge and creative capacity of EA professionals!

11 Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development Are students well equipped for this task? Yes (or at least in part): – Theoretical knowledge of decision-making and governance – Theoretical knowledge of science utilisation – Policy analytical and evaluation skills and methods No: – No insight into the EA system in general – No insight into literature on EA effectiveness

12 Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development A few exceptions Some recent master theses at Utrecht University – The contribution of SEA to the greening of public decision-making: the relevance of the decision-making context – Comparative assessment of AA and EA – Capacity development for EIA in Yemen – Guiding Georgia: lessons from 21 years of Dutch EIA experience in waste management – Promoting environmentally sustainable transport through public participation and SEA. Lessons from Dutch transportation planning for Japan – Learning about EA system performance from project advice of the NCEA in developing countries Four with an internship at NCEA (partly as part of a Ph.D.)

13 Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development Conclusions How EA master programmes should look like depends on ambitions Many graduates will be working with EA; offering opportunities to equip them with skills to work on EA?

14 Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development


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