Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 1 x 2 hour lecture per week
Practical 3 x 3 hour practicals per semester


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment COURSEWORK - 2500 WORD ESSAY  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   WRITTEN EXAMINATION  50%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   WRITTEN EXAMINATION  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Identify patterns and use of biodiversity.

2. Explain the causes of biodiversity loss and evaluate their implications.

3 Critically discuss the approaches to valuing biodiversity.

4. Identify and critically evaluate conservation policies at the local, national and global level.

Brief description

The module considers the nature and extent of biodiversity from the level of genetic diversity to biomes. Methods of measuring and monitoring change in biodiversity at different levels are introduced. Rates of biodiversity loss and the ecological implications in conjunction with factors creating change are discussed. Approaches to determining the use and values of biodiversity are outlined entering into the fields of political ecology, conservation ethics and religion, and ecological economics. In-situ techniques for conservation of plant, animal and genetic resources are considered with particular reference to the processes of monitoring and review of the efficacy of implementation and enforcement of this approach. The role of local communities/indigenous peoples and the use of Traditional Knowledge in the conservation of global biodiversity is assessed. International policies, treaties and systems for conserving biodiversity are critically appraised.


  • Definitions and patterns of biodiversity.
  • Measuring biodiversity and monitoring change.
  • Loss of biodiversity ? extent and causes.
  • Implications of biodiversity loss.
  • Valuing biodiversity ? uses of biological resources.
  • Valuing biodiversity ? cultural, political, and social issues.
  • Role of indigenous peoples in biodiversity conservation.
  • Commercial use of biodiversity and traditional knowledge.
  • Community involvement in biodiversity conservation-case studies.
  • Issues in protected area management.
  • Global biodiversity policies ? Rio and Johannesburg.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Read in different contexts and for different purposes Write for different purposes and audiences
Information Technology Present information and data
Problem solving Identify factors which might influence potential solutions Evaluate advantages and disadvantages of potential solutions
Research skills Produce academically appropriate reports

Reading List

General Text
Garrod, G and Willis, K G (1999) Economics valuation of the environment: methods and case studies Edward Elgar Primo search Laird, S A (editor) (2002) Biodiversity and Traditional Knowledge: Equitable partnerships in practice Earthscan Publications Primo search Louke, E (2002) Biodiversity and human rights: the international rules for the protection of biodiversity Transnational Publishers Primo search Meffe, G K and Carroll, C R et al (1997) Principles of Conservation Sinauer Associates Primo search Stolton, S and Dudley, N (1999) Partnerships for protection Earthscan Publications Primo search Tuxill, J and Nabham, G P (2001) People, plants and protected areas: a guide to in-situ management Earthscan Primo search United Nations Environment Programme (1995) Global biodiversity assessment United Nations Primo search World Resources Institute (2005) Millenium Ecosystem Assessment. Ecosystems and human well-being Island Press Primo search ten Kate, K and Laird, S A (1999) The commercial use of biodiversity: access to genetic resources and benefit sharing Earthscan Publications Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6