Ecodiplomacy Academy

IEDS Fellow Anna Grichting leading an ecodiplomacy workshop in Switzerland

Leveraging our location at an academic institution, IEDS is developing a series of learning modules on environmental diplomacy and security which can be used for academic credit towards a degree or for professional training. Our approach combines field education with online learning and short intensive workshops.


Below, is the first learning module to be offered by UVM's Continuing Education program in partnership with the Masters in Mediation program at Champlain College. For more information contact:



EcoDiplomacy AcademyStrategies for Environmental Diplomacy and Security 

Dates: October 20 - 21, 2011 Time: Thursday & Friday 9:00 am to 5:30 pm Location: University Heights N  Instructors:   Saleem H. Ali and Julian Portilla About the Instructors:

Saleem H. Ali is Director of the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security at UVM's James Jeffords Center for Policy Research and Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont's Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. He is also on the adjunct faculty of Brown University‚Äôs  Watson Institute for International Studies and the visiting faculty for the United Nations mandated University for Peace (Costa Rica).Dr. Ali's research focuses on the causes and consequences of environmental conflicts and how ecological factors can promote peace. He has been recognized as a "Young Global Leader" by the World Economic Forum in Switzerland and an "Emerging Explorer" by The National Geographic Society.

Julian Portilla is Director of the Masters Program in Mediation and Conflict Studies at Champlain College. Julian's experience has been primarily working on community, environmental and political consensus-building processes and trainings in several countries throughout Latin America as well as the United States. Most recently based in Mexico, his primary responsibilities were managing several consensus-building processes on and around the Baja peninsula regarding fishing, environmental and land development policy issues. In addition to his current responsibilities at Champlain College, he is currently involved in a multi-stakeholder dialogue process to revise the Management Plan of the Loreto Bay National Park on the Baja Peninsula. 

About the Program: Corporations, governments and community activists struggle to find common ground in resource-based conflicts that often become intractable. An impasse on environmental conflicts can hinder the implementation of potential conservation priorities as well as economic development opportunities.  While recognizing the importance of constructive confrontation in cases of social justice, this module aims to consider how to most efficiently engage in environmental diplomacy.  When should other options, such as legal action or sanctions be considered? How can agreements be negotiated between parties which have differing environmental values and assumptions about ecological science? The goal of this program is to familiarize participants with emerging international diplomatic processes around environmental concerns, and the means by which agreements can be reached when dealing with a complex set of values and stakeholders.

We will cover a broad range of topics in this module, from international environmental law, to mediation and conflict resolution skills. Several case examples developed through the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security at UVM will also be used during the training program.

Fees: Professional Certificate/non-credit option: $550  This  includes two days of instruction, program materials, meals (breakfast and lunch) and parking. Click here to register.


Credit Option (PA 295 1 Credit): Students seeking academic credit (for 1 credit) pay standard in or out-of-state tuition plus an additional $60 program fee to cover instruction, program materials, meals (breakfast & lunch each day), and parking. To register for Credit only, register at this site:

Who should attend: This program is designed for corporate, government, and community leaders/activists who are seeking to find common ground in resource-based conflicts.  Policy makers, mediators, educators, community planners, public administrators, lawyers, and others interested in the connections among environment, health, community development, land use planning, and public policy, as well as upper level undergraduates and graduate students and others who are planning for careers in these fields should attend.