MOOC: Ecosystem Services: a Method for Sustainable Development

An online course for professionals and students who wish to go beyond basic notions of the ecosystem services; created by University of Geneva.

This MOOC covers scientific (technical), economic and socio-political dimensions of the concept through a mix of theory, case-studies, interviews with specialists and a serious-game. The course is designed to help you:

  • Define the concept of ecosystem services, its principles and limitations
  • Understand the key services associated with any ressource (e.g., fresh water) through readings and case-studies
  • Appreciate the advantages and potential risks of monetising ecosystem services
  •  Appreciate the social dimensions (power issues, cultural biases) embedded within any method
  • Integrate tactical advice on mainstreaming this approach into policy and standard government practices
  • Optional: learn how to map ecosystem services with GIS tools 

The course was developed by instructors from the University of Geneva with the help of numerous researchers and input from the Geneva Water Hub and the Natural Capital Project. It was financed by the University of Geneva, the Global Programme Water Initiatives of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and the Luc Hoffmann Institute.

For more information and enrollment, visit

A sample lecture from the course is included below.