"Strengthening the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development" e-Course


IFSD main pictureSince the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, the institutional framework to address environment and sustainable development challenges has witnessed a steady growth in the number of institutions and agreements, with more than 500 multilateral environmental agreements currently in existence. Yet the continuing deterioration in the natural resource base and ecosystems, global climate change and persistent poverty raise doubts about the capacity of the institutional framework to address these challenges. The 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) reaffirmed the need to strengthen the institutional framework for sustainable development (IFDS) and initiated specific action to foster more effective and coherent institutional responses.


Participants will learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the current institutional architecture concerned with sustainable development, key emerging policy issues requiring an effective institutional response, and the political challenges to advance reform as reflected in the negotiations leading up to, and during the Rio+20 Conference. 

Learning Methodology and Activities

The course pedagogy is adapted to professionals in full-time work. Participants are provided with the opportunity to learn through various experiences: absorb (read); do (activity); interact (socialize); and reflect (relate to one’s own reality). The total number of learning hours is 40 over a 6 week period. During weeks 1-5 the reading of an e-book is complemented by a range of learning activities and experiences that include interactive exercises, discussion forums, and an applied case study. Week 6 is reserved for wrap-up and completing course assignments.

Registration and Additional Information

Please contact the UNITAR Environmental Governance Programme for details about fellowships and course registration at envgov@unitar.org.
To register please visit our Online Event Section.

Certificate of Completion 

 A Certificate of Completion will be issued by UNITAR to all participants who complete the course-related assignments and assessments successfully. 

Technical Requirements

Access to internet is an essential condition for participation. UNITAR also recommends the following as a minimum in hardware and software to take our e-Learning courses:
  • Platform: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP or superior; MacOS 9 or MacOS X; Linux
  • Hardware: 64 MB of RAM, 1 GB of free disk space
  • Software:
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader
    • Adobe Flash Player
    • Microsoft Office (Windows or Mac) or Open Office
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 7 or higher or Firefox 3.6 or higher 
  • Modem: 56 K
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