SEI Asia’s first massive open online course (MOOC), Rights-Based Approaches to Environmental Sustainability, was developed in partnership with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI). The MOOC is a deep dive into how practitioners can plan, implement and deliver environmental sustainability initiatives with a human rights based approach at the core.
The initiative, under SEI’s Strategic Collaborative Fund Phase 2 (SCF2), is supported by the Swedish government via Sida, which champions regional cooperation and policy dialogue for sustainable development and environmental sustainability, through capacity building and knowledge sharing.
SCF2 gives grants annually to partner organizations to implement regional environmental events on themes including climate adaptation, disaster risk reduction, water resource management and gender equality. Following the launch of the MOOC, grantees will be encouraged to take the course as an important first step to integrating rights-based approaches into the events.
“The integration of a rights-based approach is critical to fostering inclusive and transparent, regional and inter-regional collaboration, for transboundary environmental policy development,” says Niall O’Connor, SEI Asia Centre Director. “The launch of this human rights online course will encourage more environmental practitioners to integrate a rights-based approach into their operations.”
The seven-part course explains where human rights come from and what they are meant to do; what international human rights law covers and how it operates; how human rights are relevant to issues of environment and sustainability; and how you can start using rights based approaches in activities and projects.
Apart from the grantees, O’Connor says professionals and decision makers specializing in environmental protection, climate change and sustainability would also benefit from the course. Environmental specialists with limited past experience and knowledge in human rights are also encouraged to enroll.
The online course aims to help bridge the gap between experts in the fields of environment, human rights and development, to pursue synergies and to improve the integration of human rights tools and considerations into environmental and development actions and policymaking.
“What I like about this course is how it makes human rights accessible for professionals in the various environmental areas. It’s arguably one of the best on offer,” said Jason Squire, Director of RWI’s Regional Asia Office.