IUCN Massive Open Online Course on Valorisation of Protected Area Resources


This MOOC is about the sustainable use or valorisation of natural resources in protected areas. The main goal of this course is to introduce some of the commonly-used ways to sustainably valorise protected areas (and their resources), thereby contributing to their long-term conservation.  It focuses on two complementary approaches: (1) benefits (direct or indirect) provided by natural resources in protected areas, and (2) sustainable tourism and its benefits, costs, opportunities and threats. The second part of the course is based on the IUCN Best Practice Guidelines on Tourism and Visitor Management in Protected Areas, developed by 58 members of the IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group.

iucn wcpa tapas logo

Enrol here (English and French available): http://papaco.org/mooc-val/


PART 1: NATURAL RESOURCES                         

Module 1: Ecosystem services
1.1 Introduction to the module
1.2 What are ecosystem services?
1.3 The range of ecosystem services and associated typology
1.4 Food security
1.5 Water security
1.6 Human security & disaster risk reduction
1.7 Climate change mitigation and adaptation
1.8 Cultural and spiritual benefits

Module 2: Managing ecosystem services
2.1 Introduction to the module
2.2 Understanding Ecosystem Services
2.3 Opportunities
2.4 Threats
2.5 Assessment and evaluation
2.6 Management
2.7 Management of indirect values
2.8 Monitoring and evaluation

Module 3: Rights and benefits for local and more distant communities
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Distribution of benefits from ecosystem services
3.3 Participatory approaches to understanding the range of benefits supplied by PAs
3.4 Free, Prior and Informed Consent and other principles (Malawi, Akwe Kon)
3.5 Resource-use agreements including both local agreements and e.g. bioprospecting
3.6 Co-benefit schemes such as Payment for Ecosystem Services
3.7 Managing expectations – summary of key advice no using ecosystem services from protected areas


Module 4: Tourism and visitation in protected areas, its governance and impacts
4.1 Introduction to the module
4.2 Overview of the TAPAS Group and the BPG
4.3 Sustainable tourism: opportunities and challenges
4.4 Environmental costs and benefits
4.5 Social and cultural costs and benefits
4.6 Economic costs and benefits

Module 5: Aligning PA management objectives and tourism
5.1 Introduction to the module
5.2 Principle #1 and #2 on management objectives and proactive planning
5.3 Principle #3 on visitor use conditions
5.4 Principle #4 on resource impacts and social conditions
5.5 Principle #5 on management practices
5.6 Principle #6 on impact
5.7 Principle #7 on monitoring
5.8 Principles #8 and #9 on Decision making and Affected groups
5.9 Principle #10 on communication

Module 6: Capacity building, managing tourism revenues for conservation
6.1 Introduction to the module
6.2 Capacity building for managers, local communities and partnership
6.3 Generating tourism revenue from fees and donations
6.4 Generating tourism revenue from concessions
6.5 Cost saving and efficiency
6.6 Wider economic benefits and their links to conservation outcomes
6.7 The future of protected area tourism

Conclusion of the MOOC


Congratulations to the first two graduates of the course!

By the end of March 2019, 694 students had registered in French and 253 in English (947 in total)!



10 thoughts on “IUCN Massive Open Online Course on Valorisation of Protected Area Resources

  1. Good afternoon. I would like to know the price of this course (Valorisation of Protected Area Resources). Thank you.

  2. Hello from Switzerland working on nature conservancy projects in Africa

    could you please give a bit more info on thé course:
    – starting & ending date
    – price
    – track record; has the course been completed in past & any testimonials how it helped on the job ?
    – is there an exam & diploma at end of course ?

    thank you in advance for taking the time to answer. sounds very interesting the modules !

    kind regards, Corinne

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  4. Pingback: Valorisation of Protected Areas Resources MOOC - Planeta.com

  5. Dear Anna,

    I note that the enrollment has been closed (just learned about the course a day ago). When will be the next intake? I would be more than happy to do course.

    Best regards,


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