Project logo Program logo

EU governance of natural resources: geopolitics, regions and sectors: piloting sessions


The GRASS module is developed primarily in order to address the gaps in educational provision for PSU’s MSc and MA programs in environmental sciences, policy, management, economics, and in geography, as regards the EU dimension of natural resource and environmental policies, and in EU studies in general. The gaps were identified by GRASS issue groups, and included contents related to implementation of EU NATURA 2000 and WF Directives, nature-based solutions and the relevant EU R&D agenda, marine spatial planning as an EU-promoted approach to dealing with the management of marine resources and environmental protection, and relevant ICT tools.


Required courses (or equivalents): Economic Theory, Ecology, Environmental Management, Environmental Law, Sustainable Development  

Aims, objectives and participants

The overall purpose is to increase the competitiveness of PskovSU’s graduates and provide with useful in-hand knowledge on the EU policies and their tools, and this can be important for pursuing carriers in the region of Pskov or nearby regions (e.g. St.-Petersburg) bordering the EU.

The sessions were developed by GRASS issue groups and piloted during the GRASS workshops at Pskov State University, Russian State Hydrometeorological University, Belarusian-Russian University and Belarusian State University. The main audience are MSc, MA and PhD students enrolled to geography, regional studies, environmental management, policy and science programs at Pskov State University, however in order to enhance the dissemination effect and to get feedback from student bodies with different national backgrounds (mostly Belarusian one at Belarusian State University, multinational at Belarusian-Russian University and mostly Russian at Pskov State University and Russian State Hydrometeorological University), the piloting sessions will be run all over the consortium. All the sessions will be open for all interested students (including other programs) as well as academic staff.

During the academic years 2017/2018 and 2018/2019, all the sessions were replicated at PskovSU as course components integrated to the syllabi of relevant BSc, MSc, and PhD programs: “Baltic region Geography”, “Sustainable development of the Baltic region”, “Geopolitics”, “Regional politics”, “Biodiversity governance”, “Water Governance”, "GIS in ecology".

General Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, successful students will:

  • understand concepts and instruments of biodiversity governance at international, subnational (EU), national and local levels (including objectives and principles of biodiversity conservation in CBD, EU directives and Russian legislation, role of international state-and non-state actors etc.), and multilevel nature of biodiversity governance
  • be able to reflect on Russian legislation, policies and implementation practices from the perspectives of EU practices, and on options for transboundary cooperation
  • be familiar with the concept of sustainable livelihood, its implications for biodiversity conservation and relevant experiences in the EU and Russia
  • be aware of ecological networks, green corridors, categories of nature protected areas, and management and governance implications in the EU and Russia
  • be familiar with issues and problems of adapting EU biodiversity legislation in EU accession countries, and reflect on this experience in the light of the Russian biodiversity conservation practice
  • be aware of European transboundary initiatives in biodiversity conservation and their implications for Russia and Pskov Region
  • be aware of the EU R&D Agenda on nature-based solutions, and of relevant tools, methods and best practices
  • apply critical thinking as regards transferability of EU NBS practices to Russia
  • be aware of the paradigm and methods of spatial marine planning, and be prepared to apply them in a diversity of settings.

Modules and Key topics

Module 1. Baltic dimension of EU policies and relevant management tools

Piloted at Pskov State University (Pskov, Russia), Semester 2, 2017-2018, by Ruben Zondervan (Lund University, Sweden), Kalev Sepp (Estonian Univeristy of Life Sciences, Estonia), Anton Shkaruba, Viktar Kireyeu (Erda Research, Technology, Education, The Netherlands), Olga Likhacheva, Tatiana Vasileva (Pskov State University, Russia)

‘Global’ water governance: a multi-level challenge, moderated lecture-discussion (2 hours)

Conflicts in the use of transboundary water bodies, moderated lecture-discussion with in-class assignments (2 hours)

Nature conservation in remote rural area in the Baltic region, moderated lecture-discussion (2 hours)

Case of protected areas in Estonia

Case of Piirisaare island (Estonia)

European ecological networks and their development in the Baltic countriesmoderated lecture-discussion (2 hours)

Biogeographical seminar game (based on Emerald network), practical class (4 hours)

Topics were included into the "Biodiversity governance", “Baltic region Geography”, “Sustainable development of the Baltic region” courses at Pskov State University

Module 2. Introduction to biodiversity governance

Part 1. Piloted at Belorusian-Russian University (Mahilioŭ, Belarus), Semester 2, 2017-2018, by Anton Shkaruba, Viktar Kireyeu (Erda Research, Technology, Education, The Netherlands), Kalev Sepp (Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia), Hanna Skryhan (Belarusian-Russian University and NGO Ekapraekt, Belarus)

Invited lecturer - Attila Katona (Central European University, Budapest, Hungary)

Introduction to the theory, methodology and application of nature-based solutions for smart cities, governance of smart cities and nature-based solutions, (4 hours)

Methodology workshops on observation techniques, repertory grid and stakeholder interview techniques, practical class (4 hours)

International best practices of applying urban nature-based solutions and development of smart cities (green corridors, green-blue diameters, development of green infrastructure; challenges for physical planning, urban infrastructure management and landscape architecture), moderated lecture-discussion (4 hours)

Case study research, practical assignment (4 hours)

Topics were included into the "Biodiversity Governance" and "Water Governance" courses at Pskov State University.

Part 2. Methods and tools for land-use and ecosystem spatial analysis

Piloted at Belorusian State University (Minsk, Belarus), Semester 1, 2018-2019

Invited lecturers - Alexander Prishchepov (University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Dzmitry Grummo (Institute of Experimental Botany, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Belarus)

Google Earth Engine for classification and monitoring of abandoned cropslecture (1 hour), practical class (1 hour)

Remote sensing and GIS application for identification of High Conservation Value Areasmoderated lecture-discussion (2 hours)

Topics were included into the "GIS in ecology" course at Pskov State University.

Module 3. Governance of Natural Resources in the Arctic

Piloted at Russian State Hydrometeorological University (Saint-Petersburg, Russia), Semester 1, 2018-2019, by Anton Shkaruba, Viktar Kireyeu (Erda Research, Technology, Education, The Netherlands), Kalev Sepp (Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia), Olga Likhacheva (Pskov State University, Russia)

Invited lecturers - Andrey Lappo, Larisa Danilova (Scientific and Research Institute of Maritime Spatial Planning “Ermak Northwest”, St.-Petersburg, Russia)

Marine spatial planning business game “If I was a planner” (Spatial planning in the Arctic)

Lecture/Introduction to the game (1 hour)
Game rules, distribution of roles, familiarity with the context (1 hour)
Game activities (2 hours)
Summarizing (1 hour)

Topics were included into the "Sustainable development of the Baltic region" and "Baltic region geographi" courses at Pskov State University.


Detailed syllabus of the course is available here.

Materials are also available via PskovSU e-learning platform