Course code VidZ1032
Faculty Faculty of History and Philosophy, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences, Vice Rector for Studies, Faculty of Computing, Faculty of Physics, Mathematics and Optometry, Faculty of Theology, Faculty of Biology, Faculty of Education, Psychology and Art, Faculty of Business, Management and Economics, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Social Sciences
Credit points, number of lectures
Credit points ECTS Credit points Total number of auditorium hours Number of lecture hours Number of seminars and practical work hours Number of student independent work hours
1 1.5 20 16 4 20
E-courses 2VID1032: Environment protection 2VID1032-21120-21122: Environment protection
Course annotation Study course provide knowledge on environmental protection and sustainable development on global, regional and local level. Analyse on environmental, social and economic issues and problems are given in interaction, taking in account causal relationship, as well as, possibilities of positive solutions. The course develops an understanding of the world as an comprehensive and complex systems whose elements mutually influence each other. Earth environment is examined at atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere levels. Functions and mechanisms of these spheres, but specially, natural resources and pollution, are analysed through material and energy flows. Serious attention is pay for better understanding role and consequences of the man in natural world, building anthropogenic environment.

Results
Students will be able to describe the impact of human activities on the environment, explain the types of impacts, to formulate the problem of the nature of the evaluation and research facilities able to articulate the attitudes and actions of environmental protection issues and to choose appropriate strategies and actions. Will be able to recommend the application of best practice and to analyze the different factors (legislation, decision-making, production, economy, environmental awareness), impact and solutions for environmental and natural quality preservation. Students will have ability to critically analyze environmental problems of a causal link, use the methods of systemic thinking and problem evaluation criteria.

Academic knowledge:
1.Acquired knowledge about basic principles in environmental science and sustainable development.
2.Acquired knowledge about most important global, regional and local environmental problems and possible solutions to do away with these problems.
3.Get to the back of natural resources and environmental pollution life cycles and understanding their significance in economy and community. use this competency

Professional competence:
1.Familiarised with skills to make complicated analyses of natural, environmental, economical and social problems, as well as to analyse state of environment in Latvia and Europe.
2.Acquired skills to identify local and national resources and provide risk analysis in respect of sustainable development.
3.Developed readiness of speech and discussion about main principles, problems and modern solutions concerning sustainable development.
4.Adopted practical acquirement in use and interpretation of national and international legislation.
5.Developed proficiency to use different environmental and sustainable development indicators and data bases.

Course plan BASIC LECTURES LP (6 lectures)

1. Environmental science.LP
2. Nature conservation. LP
3. Natural resources LP
4. Environmental pollution. LP
5. Climate changes. LP
6. Sustainable development. LP

OPTIONAL LECTURES LI (2 lectures)

1.Environmental systems. LI
2. Ecosystem’s services. LI
3. Nature disasters. LI
4. Environmental health. LI
5. Environmental technologies. LI
6. Environmental management. LI
7. Environment and economy. LI
8. Implementation of sustainable development. LI
9. Cultural environment. LI
10. International cooperation on environmental protection. LI

SEMINARS (1or 2 seminars)

1. seminar on themes 1 – 6. S
or
2. seminar on the environment issues relating to the study programme. S
or
3. both previous seminars

WORKSHOP (PD)

Environment modelling game. PD

POTENTIAL VERSIONS

1. 6LP + 2LI+ 2S (8 lectures and 2 seminars)

or

2. 6L2 + 2LI+ 1S + 1PD (8 lectures and 1 seminar and 1 workshop)


Total 10 lessons (20 hours)

COURSE CONTENT

BASIC LECTURES

Theme 1
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
History of the environmental science. Humans and environmental interaction. Environmental science principles and major divisions. Environmental science integrative and interdisciplinary role on nature. Systems approach.

Theme 2
NATURE CONSERVATION
Nature conservation history. The loss of biodiversity in the world and Latvia: causes and consequences. Biodiversity in the world and Latvia. Biodiversity conservation techniques. Special protected areas. Habitats and species, habitat recovery. Trade of different species - its limitation. Problems with the alien species. Nature conservation plans and actions. The main requirements of the EU nature conservation policy. International co-operation on nature conservation. Citizens and public organizations role in environmental and nature protection.

Theme 3
NATURAL RESOURCES
Environmental and natural resources, their classification. Use of natural resources, depletion and exhaustion. Resources of the mineral substances. Soil, forest and water resources. Non-renewable energy resources: coal, peat, oil, natural gas, uranium ore. Renewable energy: solar energy, geothermal energy, water energy, wind energy, ocean wave and tidal energy, biomass. Land-use options for ensuring humanity.

Theme 4
ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION
Atmospheric pollution, its sources and exposure. Air pollutants. Indoor air pollution. Air quality assessment and air monitoring. Air quality standards. Air pollution reduction needs in Latvia. Earth's ozone layer and its protection. Water pollution. Soil pollution and degradation. Contaminants of the national economy and in everyday life. Environmental health concept. Pollutant’s impact on people and ecosystems. Toxic effects. Physical (noise, radiation) and biological (microorganisms) factors. Environmental pollution and exposure influences rationing.

Theme 5
CLIMATE CHANGES
Earth's climate and its variability. Energy turnover role in the Earth's energy balance. Human-induced climate changes. Greenhouse effect gases. Manifestations of climate change, the risks and possible consequences. International laws to mitigate climate change. The climate policy. Climate technologies. CO2 capture and storage technologies. The transition to a low carbon society. Adaptation to climate changes.

Theme 6
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Sustainable development as an essential part of postmodern culture. Global changes and social timeserving in the world. Sustainable development as an intergenerational issue. Growth and limits to growth. The role of science and scientists for sustainable development problem identification and solving. Concept of sustainable development. Sustainable development programmes and indicators.

OPTIONAL LECTURES

Theme 1
ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS
Earth systems: the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere. Matter and energy flow on the Earth. Hydrological cycle. The carbon cycle. Nitrogen biogeochemical cycle. Phosphorus biogeochemical cycle.

Theme 2
ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
The basics of ecosystem services. Humanity needed assurance - water, food, wood, textile, medical products, soil. Adjustment of the environmental parameters - the amount of oxygen in the air, carbon and nitrogen movement. Micro-climate regulation. Ecosystem’s role in the regulation of run-off. Support services - pollination and decomposition of organic residues. Intangible ecosystem services. Ecosystem’s value.

Theme 3
NATURE DISASTERS
Characteristics of natural disasters. Nature disaster effects and physical manifestations. Earthquakes. Earthquakes in Latvia. Floods. Floods in the Latvia. Anti-flood measures. Forest fires. Heat waves. Drought. Storms. Environment risk models. Adaptation to the natural disasters. The pre-industrial period. Industrial period. Post-industrial period.

Theme 4
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Environmental health conception. How to assess the hazardousness of substances? Effects of pollutants and physical factors on humans and ecosystems. Types of toxic effects. Effects of environmental pollutants and factors on human beings. Effects of environmental pollutants on endocrine system. Genotoxic effects of environmental pollutants and factors. Carciogenic effects of environmental pollutants and factors. Teratogenic substances. Exposure factors impact on people and ecosystems. Radioactive radiation , radioactive elements and their properties. The noise impact on people. Environmental pollution and exposure factors on rationing .

Theme 5
ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGIES
Environmental technology development principles. Clean and cleaner production. Product eco-design. Efficient use of raw materials and of energy. Air pollution prevention techniques. Sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulates. Emissions reduction from stationary and mobile sources. Gas cleaning technologies. Water safety and quality requirements, monitoring and control arrangements. Drinking water treatment. Suspended solids separation - straining, filtration, coagulation. Disinfection. Water transmission and distribution systems. Treatment processes of the household and industrial waste water and rainfall - physical, biological and chemical processes use. Alternative and individual wastewater treatment methods. Municipal solid waste characterization. Recycling. Energy resources and material recycling. Solid waste collection systems, equipment and mechanisms. Dumps and landfills. Solid waste incineration and composting.

Theme 6
ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
Legal regulation for environmental protection. Rights and environmental ethics. Principles of legal environmental protection. Science and scientists on environmental problem identification and solving. Public role in environmental protection. Environmental policy. Environmental management system - from vision to implementation. Environmental policy targets. Environmental policy objectives in the implementation of the program. Environmental policy plan realization and control. Environmental indicators and monitoring. Environmental management institutional and administrative resources. Ministry of the Environmental protection and regional development. State environmental service office. Latvia’s Environment, geology and meteorology centre. Environmental protection authorities. Voluntary environmental policy tools. International co-operation on environmental protection. International environmental organizations. UN and EU environmental policy.

Theme 7
ENVIRONMENT AND ECONOMY
21st century - a new view on the economy. Economic and environmental interactions - their determinants and principles. Economics of the natural resources. Environment and nature as capital, its impact on economic development. Total economic value of the environmental and its evaluation methods. Cost-benefit analysis, discounting. Insurance risks. Ecological economics and the market mechanism. The environment as a public good and externalities in a competitive market. Economic methods for pollution limitation. Natural resources tax and environmental tax functions. Social optimum in the privacy rights case. Environmental impact analysis based on a life-cycle aproach. Sustainable economic development and environmental quality preservation. Green economy.

Theme 8
IMPLEMENTATION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Sustainable consumption and production. Ecological footprint and its calculation methodology. Latvia’s ecological footprint. Lifestyle changes on the environmental load. Policy methods to promote sustainable consumption.
Sustainable development strategy of the Republic of Latvia - "Latvia-2030". Latvian citizens' perspective on sustainability as a lifestyle and life rhythm element. Education for sustainable development. Networking. Working with community to implement sustainable development.
UN environment and sustainable development conferences. UN Millennium Goals and the Programme of Action for the 21st century. EU Sustainable development strategy. Alternative development opportunities.

Theme 9
CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT
Aesthetic potential of the environment. Cultural context of environmental awareness. Rural and urban cultural environment. Latvian rural culture essential ingredients. From the Cultural environment resulting from the nature. Social importance of rural cultural components. Urban structure and components. Industrial environment and its conservation options. Unique cultural conservation perspective . Cultural quality. Cultural degradation and improvement opportunities .

Theme 10
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ON ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Joint cooperation and development. International environmental problems. International institutions involved in environmental protection. International environmental organizations. Environmental activist groups. International corporations. Science and scientists in environmental problem identification and solving. Development of international cooperation. The first phase - the sea resources . The second phase - the environmental movement and the UN measures . The third phase - from Stockholm in 1972 to Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The fourth phase - integration period. Modern features of international cooperation in environmental protection and sustainable development.

Study course include workshop – environmental modelling game:

1. Management of the National park
or
2. Fishery
or
3. Other game proposed by study programme

Study course include watching films:

- documentary films

“Home” (Europa Corp.; Yann Arthus-Bertrand),
or
“An Inconvenient Truth” (Al Gore),
or
„The Age of Stupid” (Brittish Council)

- video-film series about Sustainable Baltic Sea region

1. The road towards sustainability – a historical perspective. Duration: 0.48.37.
2. Energy – from fossil fuels to sustainable energy resources. Duration: 0.46.51.
3. Man and materials flows – towards sustainable materials management. Duration: 0.39.33.
4. Food and fibres – sustainable agriculture, forestry and fishery. Duration: 0.41.44.
5. Sustainable industrial production – waste minimization, cleaner technology and industrial ecology. Duration: 0.49.33.
6. Towards sustainable mobility – transporting people and goods in the Baltic Region. Duration: 0.47.30.
7. Community development – sustainable cities and habitation. Duration: 0.42.30.
8. Ecological economics – markets, prices and budgets in a sustainable society. Duration: 0.45.39.
9. The foundations of sustainable development – ethics, law, culture and the physical boundaries. Duration: 0.43.58.
10. From intention to action – implementing sustainable development. Duration: 0.43.58.







Requirements for obtaining credit points
The required rating course for a successful acquisition is 4-10 points. Course final grade is calculated as the average of attendance (10 %), activity at the seminars (30 %) and workshop results (10 %) during the term (of 50 %) and essay on environmental issues (10 %) and final examination results (40 %) at the studies end of the course (total 50 %).
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