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Online Course: Natural Resources for Sustainable Development

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    Jordan Koletic


    Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas, and Mining Governance, a joint course by the Natural Resource Governance Institute, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, and the World Bank, gives students an understanding of the key challenges and opportunities that come with managing extractive industry investments for sustainable development. It has been updated with new content and new languages for the semesters beginning February 2018.


    This course builds knowledge to make the most of oil, gas, and minerals, while mitigating the risks that these industries bring. It outlines the various complex and interrelated aspects of natural resource governance, including: understanding the governance and industry fundamentals; developing and implementing robust and transparent legal frameworks; designing fiscal regimes to capture a fair share of the revenues; managing environmental risks; engaging with communities; leveraging investments for infrastructure and business linkages; and managing revenues for economic diversification and development, among others.


    By joining this course, you are becoming part of a global movement of citizens and practitioners committed to harnessing the transformational impacts of these resources. The success of the course depends on an active student base that represents a diversity of experiences, geographies, and perspectives.

    Course opens: February 5th, 2018

    Length: 12 modules released weekly, with 2-week catch-up period

    Effort: 4-6 hours per week

    Price: FREE

    Full Language Courses: English, Arabic (link to be posted soon)

    Video Transcripts: English, Russian, French, Spanish

    Readings: English, Russian

    Prerequisites: None

    Requirements: An internet connection to access course materials

    Related SDGs: 12, 9


    Course logistics and requirements:

    The course launches February 5, 2018. Students can enroll at any time before or after that date and can complete the course materials at any time through May 13th, 2018. After May 13th, 2018, the course content will no longer be available until the next time the course is offered.



    • Pre-recorded lectures
    • Readings
    • Quizzes and final exam
    • Discussion forums
    • Q&A sessions with course instructors (pre-recorded throughout the course)

    New content is released every Monday. Once the content is released, it remains accessible for the duration of the course. All course components can be completed at any time that is convenient for the students.


    Certificates: Students who successfully complete the course will receive a digital certificate of proficiency signed by the course instructors. In order to successfully complete the course, students must score an average of 70% or higher on the graded components of the course. Students who score 85% or higher will receive certificates of proficiency with distinction.


    Questions about the course structure or requirements? Email the course team at or the SDG Academy at For technical questions about the platform, please email


    Course Instructors:

    (in order of appearance)

    Lisa Sachs, Director, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

    Patrick Heller, Advisor, Natural Resource Governance Institute

    Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor, Columbia University and Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Network

    Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University

    Alexandra Gillies, Advisor, Natural Resource Governance Institute

    Daniel Kaufmann, President & CEO, Natural Resource Governance Institute

    Mark Moody-Stuart, Chairman, Hermes Equity Ownership Services

    Antonio Pedro, Director, UNECA Sub-Regional Office for Eastern Africa

    Carole Nakhle, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Crystol Energy

    Paulo de Sa, Practice Manager, Energy and Extractives Practice, World Bank

    Lise Johnson, Head, Investment Law and Policy, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

    Matthew Genasci, Founder, Mining Policy Group

    Daniel Franks, Programme Manager, United Nations Development Programme

    Saleem Ali, Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Energy and the Environment University of Delaware

    Deanna Kemp, Director, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, The University of Queensland

    Cristina Villegas, Deputy Director, Mines to Markets, Pact

    Mohammed Amin Adam, Deputy Minister of Energy, Ghana

    Perrine Toledano, Head, Extractive Industries, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

    Cielo Magno, Assistant Professor, School of Economics, University of the Philippines

    Anthony Paul, Principal Consultant, Association of Caribbean Energy Specialists

    Michael Stanley, Sector Lead, Mining, World Bank

    Håvard Halland, Economist, World Bank



    Module 1: Challenges and opportunities

    1.0 Introduction to the course

    1.1 Short history of oil, gas, and mining

    1.2 Challenges and opportunities of oil, gas, and mining

    1.3 The decision chain of natural resource management (I)

    1.4 The decision chain of natural resource management (II)

    Module 2: Political economy of natural resources

    2.0 Introduction to Module 2

    2.1 How natural resources shape and are shaped by political context

    2.2 Corruption trends in the extractive sector

    2.3 International governance initiatives

    2.4 Natural resources and the broader governance framework

    2.5 Transparency and accountability

    2.6 (Optional) Towards evidence driven policy reform using the Resource Governance Index

    Module 3: Fundamentals of oil, gas, and mining: industry considerations and policy implications

    3.0 Introduction to Module 3

    3.1 From oil well to car – market, players, and extraction process in oil

    3.2 From mine to mobile phone – market, players, and extraction process in mining

    3.3 How a company decides to invest in a project

    3.4 The project development process

    3.5 Evolving technology

    3.6 (Optional) Fundamentals of energy and petroleum

    Module 4: Legal overview

    4.0 Introduction to Module 4

    4.1 Legal and regulatory frameworks for extractive industries

    4.2 Allocation of rights

    4.3 Implementation and monitoring of legal frameworks

    4.4 International law and the extractive industries

    4.5 State-owned enterprises: Role and governance

    4.6 (Optional) Regional harmonization: Case studies from Africa

    Module 5: Fiscal regime design and revenue collection

    5.0 Introduction to Module 5

    5.1 Resource economics and fiscal regime principles

    5.2 Fiscal instruments I: Royalty/tax systems

    5.3 Fiscal instruments II: Contract-based systems

    5.4 Fiscal regime implementation

    Module 6: Anticipating and managing environmental issues

    6.0 Introduction to Module 6

    6.1 Environmental challenges and trends: oil and gas

    6.2 Environmental challenges and trends: mining

    6.3 Managing environmental challenges

    6.4 Extractives and climate change

    6.5 Environmental impact assessments and environmental due diligence

    Module 7: Community rights

    7.0 Introduction to Module 7

    7.1 Social impact and engagement

    7.2 Human rights and the global mining industry

    7.3 Mining and vulnerable populations

    7.4  Agreements between Companies and Indigenous Communities

    Module 8: Artisanal mining

    8.0 Introduction to Module 8

    8.1 Introduction to artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)

    8.2 Challenges of ASM

    8.3 ASM and gender

    8.4 Tensions between artisanal and large-scale mining

    8.5 Key opportunities and the way forward

    Module 9: Revenue management

    9.0 Introduction to Module 9

    9.1 Challenges of revenue management

    9.2 Policy responses: savings, spending, public debt, and earmarking

    9.3 Natural resource funds

    9.4 Revenue sharing and decentralization

    Module 10: Investing in sustainable development: Economic linkages to the extractives sector

    10.0 Introduction to Module 10

    10.1 Introduction to economic linkages

    10.2 Local employment

    10.3 Local procurement

    10.4 Enabling technology transfer

    10.5 Downstream linkages

    Module 11: Investing in sustainable development: Looking beyond extractives

    11.0 Introduction to Module 11

    11.1 Investing in investing

    11.2 Leveraging extractive industries for infrastructure

    11.3 Resource-for-infrastructure deals

    11.4 (Optional) Integrated spatial planning

    Module 12: Cross-cutting considerations and looking ahead

    12.0 Introduction to Module 12

    12.1 Political tripod and authorizing environment

    12.2 Engaging citizens

    12.3 Aligning extractive industries with the Sustainable Development Goals

    12.4 Course wrap-up

    For more information, please visit:

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