MOOCs on conservation & PAs

What is a







MOOCs are one of the latest advances in distance learning. Composed of online courses that are meant for an unlimited number of participants, MOOCs give anyone with an Internet connection access to courses on diverse subjects. They are usually made of short thematic videos, quizzes, automatically or peer-graded assessments, recommended readings, etc.

A few facts

  • The first MOOC on protected areas was launched by IUCN-PAPACO in October 2015
  • Two MOOCs are currently online: one on PA management and one on ecological monitoring
  • By May 2017, over 10,000 participants from over 120 countries had enrolled
  • Two more MOOCs will be launched at the end of 2017: one on law enforcement and the other on species conservation
  • IUCN-PAPACO delivers free certificates to those who pass the exams

Collaboration with EPFL

The MOOCs were created in collaboration with EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne). EPFL is a research institute/university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. They also offer MOOCs of their own.

The MOOCs offered by Papaco

Protected Areas Management in Africa – This course is about areas that are dedicated to protecting nature: “protected areas”. Made of 7 modules it can be done at your own pace in around 2 months.

Read more and enroll for free


Ecological monitoring – This course is about ecological monitoring, an essential aspect of protected areas management. The course is made of 4 modules and can be done at your own pace in around 2 months.

Read more and enroll for free


Law Enforcement



Available at the end of 2017


Species conservation



Available at the end of 2017

To learn more about our MOOCs

Bridging the capacity development gap in Africa


Building capacities for conservation of nature: Can this be done at distance?