Ecosystem Restoration in the Tropics and Climate Change

The course investigates the degradation of tropical ecosystems and options for their restoration, including related governance and international mechanisms as well as the limits of restoration.

5 ECTS Credits — Studies start 22 March 2022 — University of Eastern Finland

Photo credit: Nathan Siemers, 2013 on Flickr
Photo credit: Nathan Siemers, 2013 on Flickr

Course dates

22 March 2022 – 6 May 2022

Registration period

1 February 2022 – 6 March 2022

Coordinating university

University of Eastern Finland


Frank Berninger



Course dates: 22.3. - 29.4.2022 (online lectures and assignments) + 5.-6.5.2022 (online seminar)
Registration dates: 1.2. - 6.3.2022
Coordinating university: University of Eastern Finland
Partner university: CSIR College of Science and Technology (CCST, Ghana)
Responsible teacher: Frank Berninger,
Responsible person (CCST, Ghana): Mark Appiah,
Credits: 5 ECTS
Course offered: 2/3

Course summary

The course investigates the degradation of tropical ecosystems and options for their restoration. Restoration includes carbon balances, biodiversity, ecosystem services, and landscape-level restoration. The course also looks at the limits of ecosystem restoration, and governance and international mechanisms that support it (such as REDD+). The course is a Master level course and considered to be at the advanced studies (syventävät opinot) level.

The course will provide an understanding of the role of ecosystem restoration in the tropics across different levels. This includes the interplay of natural, economic, and social factors, as well as the challenges posed by climate change. In addition, issues of carbon balance and the role of restoration in the global carbon balance are analysed, and policy concepts such as REDD+ and the Paris Agreement are introduced.

Learning outcomes

After the course, students should have a quantitative and qualitative knowledge on ecosystem degradation and restoration of tropical ecosystems. Key concepts are ecosystem services, effects of climate change, different political mechanisms to finance restoration.

Learning methods

There will be 6 video lectures and reading assignments. There will also be a set of multiple choice questions associated with each lecture, and the answers will be evaluated.

For each lecture, each student should read one article and write a short essay based on a question posed for the article. The essays will be peer-evaluated by other students.

At the end of the course students will also make a video lecture, in pairs, on a restoration project and upload it to the group.

Study materials

Readings will be made available on Moodle.


Grade 0-5. 1/3 multiple choice questions, 1/3 peer evaluation, 1/3 final seminar.

Additional information

The course is held in the 4th period. As the lectures are online, there won't be fixed lecture times except for the Final Seminar that will be held on 5.-6.5.2022 at 10.30-18.00.

The course assumes a basic knowledge of ecology, in particular knowledge of ecosystem ecology and biodiversity.

The course is offered in collaboration with the CSIR College of Science and Technology in Accra, Ghana.

Virtual Studies Course Catalogue