Course Description

Course Name

Sustainable Development in the Peruvian Andes

Session: VCSF1122

Hours & Credits

45 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


This course is strictly for ISA students. Students from outside ISA are not allowed to attend.
45 Contact Hours distributed during the semester in 30 sessions of 90 minutes each.
Sustainable development is founded on the premise that human well-being should advance without irreparable harm to ecosystems and the vital services they provide, without depleting essential resources, and without posing risks to future generations. This course provides knowledge of the theory and practice of this concept. Topics aim to stimulate a critical examination of historical and conceptual antecedents; provide experience in the complex challenges of sustainable development through direct engagement; and help students understand the present and imagine alternative futures for our rapidly changing world. This course is specifically created to address the very real and complex issues of development as they relate to the interactions of the natural and social systems with its main focus on the Peruvian Andes.
The objective of this course, beyond providing a basic introduction to sustainable development concepts, is to recognize the challenges of sustainable development in Peru; the opportunities and limits of the rural and urban sectors in meeting these challenges; and prepare students for the application of these concepts in multiple case study analysis.
1. Identify and distinguish the roles of the Peruvian government, non-­governmental organizations, corporations, science, and stakeholders in developing and contesting environmental policies on national and global scales.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the form and function of agreements, pacts, treaties, laws and regulations as they relate to international, national, regional and local environmental governance and resource management.
3. Utilize a systems thinking approach to describe and analyze the interactions among ecological, legislative and socio-economic processes that contribute to environmental problems and solutions for specific case studies.
4. Identify and describe key strategies for resource stewardship, explain the dynamic spatial and temporal scales affecting each strategy.
5. Analyze and interpret data/indicators that measure and track environmental, social and economic trends of related to sustainable development in Peru.
There are no prerequisites for this course.
The methodology to be used includes a combination of tools in order to facilitate the enhancements of knowledge, promote debate in class and increase students' ability to formulate proposals, such as: presentation-debate classes and case studies.
The structure of each unit includes a daily compulsory reading, followed by oral presentations by the students which will lead to class debates, group works, and other practical activities. Fieldtrips are essential to the course, which are programmed in an every other week basis. All these activities will be complemented by lectures.
Not required
Evaluation will be ongoing and will take in consideration the issues established in the competencies and in their use by each student. The dates for the Midterm and Final Exam will be indicated by ISA. Readings, tasks, class work and written reports are evaluated.

50% - Ongoing evaluation (quizzes, written work, readings, research, projects and presentations)
10% - Participation in Class (homework, reports, oral participation, discussion, and attitude in class)
20% - Midterm Exam
20% - Final Exam

Attendance and punctuality are basic requirements for an effective discussion and team based course. Beyond that, each person's frequency and quality of contribution to the class discussion will be assessed and reflected in the class participation score.
Three unexcused classes lower the final course grade by five points (approximately a half letter grade). The final course grade will be lowered an additional five points for each class missed over and above the first three. If the student accumulates more than five unexcused absences, he/she will be placed on academic probation and the home university will be notified. In the event of an emergency or illness, students should petition for an excused absence from the professor with the appropriate documentation within a week of the absence.
There are no makeups for presentations, leading reading sessions, and exams unless the student demonstrates in advance (and the Professor agrees) that a significant life-event prevents him/her from attending class or if a documented emergency is provided. The following are not acceptable excuses: scheduled flights or trips, scheduled non-emergency doctor appointments, picking up relatives or friends at the airport, etc. If a student schedules something else during a class when is to give a presentation, lead a discussion session, or take an exam, the student will get a zero for that grade.
In the event of an excused absence, students will be expected to confer with the professor regarding the possibility of making up any missed coursework, homework and/or exams. In the event of an unexcused absence students are responsible for any missed coursework and notes, but late homework will not be accepted.
The third time a student is more than 10 minutes late to a class; it will be considered an unexcused absence.
Missing a reading/video session counts as 1.5 absences, Missing a field trip counts as two absences.
Bear in mind you are in a professional school, and a member of a learning community. Thus you are expected to comport yourself as a professional person. For instance, be on time for class, do not leave the class while it is in progress for other than emergencies -if you need to do so make sure you ask the professor for permission-, turn off cell phones, be respectful of others? viewpoints even if you disagree with them, do not use improper language, do not put your feet up on your desk, raise your hand if you want to participate, and dress appropriately for a professional activity. Eating is not allowed during class.
Personal computers, tablets and smartphones are allowed as long as they are being used for class purposes (PDF files, Class PowerPoint slides, etc).
All individual readings included above.
Additional Sources
Centre of Environment Education. 2007. Internship Series. Volume I. Sustainable Development: an Introduction.
F. Stuart Chapin. 2009. Principles of Ecosystem Stewarship. Resilience-based Natural Resource Management in a Changing World.
Jennifer A. Elliot. 2006. An Introduction to Sustainable Development. Third Edition.
Miguel Altieri. 1995. Agroecology: The Science of Sustainable Agriculture
Peter P. Rogers, Kazi F. Jalal and John A. Boyd. 2006. An Introduction to Sustainable Development.
Tatyana P. Soubbotina. 2004. Beyond Economic Growth. An Introduction to Sustainable Development. Second Edition.

*Course content subject to change