Course: Water, forests and people

The VE project aims to provide a proper understanding of the relationships among forests and water, and the resulting benefits for people while sustaining watershed ecosystems. Issues such as population growth and land use, coupled with a changing climate, turn forest and water management into a great challenge. A challenge that requires new approaches, models, and good management practices, but above all, the comprehension and active involvement of all stakeholders. 

This VE seeks to provide students – who are not experts on these themes – with the knowledge and skills to actively engage in an intercultural dialogue and an international experience centered on WICKED problems and the SDGs in particular regarding forests and water; enhancing critical thinking abilities within an international and interdisciplinary debate. It comes to complement their academic curriculum by addressing a topic of current interest and global significance, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Key words: Water, forest, awareness raising, policy

Specific learning goals

  • Define what a WICKED problem is and critically evaluate the concepts of sustainability and development.
  • Talk in English about Italy and Honduras, the relations between the two countries and the presence and management of water and forests in the two contexts.
  • Use appropriate terminology for the discussion of Wicked Problems, SDGs, sustainable development, particularly in relation to water and forests..
  • Transmit the importance of water and forests to political and civil society actors in local and global contexts (through the development of an advocacy campaign).
  • Communicate and collaborate using online tools in an international and transdisciplinary team, demonstrating intercultural curiosity and awareness.

Course schedule

In total 5 week course:  

  • Week 1

    Week 1: Getting to know each other

    • Word associations
    • Filling and discussing a padlet (If I were a tree..) (online session among peers)
    • Required Video: The Sustainable Development Goals need Forests
    • Explore Infographic: SDGs and Forest and Water Relations

    Week 2

    Week 2: Water & Forests in my home country

    • Required Video: Forests and Water
    • Describing the Forest and Water Management situation in your home country (online session among peers)

    Week 3

    Week 3: Water and Forest Dynamics

    • Discussion Forum: How is the Water and Forest Management situation in both countries alike?
    • Discussion Forum: How is the Water and Forest Management situation in both countries different?
    • Discussion Forum: Once you have learned about the experience of your partner, what good practices/strategies/approaches do you think could be adopted by your home country?
    • Required Video: How Forests Facilitate the Water Cycle
    • Required Reading and Quiz: The Forest Water Cycle
    • Required Reading and Quiz: Introducing Forest Water Relationships
    • Required Video: Forests provide drinking water for the world
    • Required Reading and Quiz: The importance of Forest Water Relationships
    • Create an awareness raising campaign/infographic/presentation (online session among peers)

    Week 4

    Week 4. SDGs and the Climate Agreements

    • Measure your carbon footprint
    • Explore Infographic: Forests. Key to a Successful Paris Agreement
    • Required Video: Sustainable forest management –  a way of combating climate change
    • Required Reading and Quiz: A Global Picture of Forests and Water

    Week 5

    Week 5. Awareness Raising campaign presentation

    • Synchronized final session


Course completion


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