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South Africa UCT: An innovative field course on environmental issues in developing countries

Poverty, natural resource management, and environmental degradation are inextricably linked.The Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development course, piloted by Maria Damon (University of New-York) and including teaching by EfD research fellows Martine Visser and Edwin Muchapondwa, explores ways that economic analysis can help identify underlying problems and formulate effective policy responses to them. Major topics include: approaches for understanding behavior and social preferences in poor communities; what these imply for the management of natural resources; choosing optimal policy instruments for pollution reduction and environmental protection; and relationships between human health and the environment. Particular emphasis is placed on fishing communities, with exposure to field research in coastal communities near Cape Town, South Africa.