Led by Yale’s Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative


Applications for the 2024-2025 program are now closed!
Want to learn more about Tropical Forest Landscapes? Sign up for the free Coursera introductory course!


Tropical forest landscape conservation and restoration offers an opportunity to address pressing environmental and social challenges. Effective conservation and restoration initiatives support multiple objectives, including ecosystem functioning, climate change mitigation and adaptation, food security and economic growth.

In this yearlong program, you will learn to design, implement and monitor effective conservation and restoration initiatives. Initiatives can be projects, policies, business plans and programs at any scale.

This program builds upon the expertise of Yale faculty and ELTI’s extensive training experience and network throughout the tropics. You will gain knowledge, practice skills and apply concepts to your own work and context.

Download the program brochure  


Eight-week online courses

  •  Fundamentals
    Ecological and social concepts

    The Fundamentals course presents an overview of ecological and social foundations for planning effective conservation and restoration projects. Participants learn about: (a) relationships between people and natural resources in the tropics, (b) ecological processes that affect tropical landscape management, (c) disciplinary approaches to tropical land management and (d) planning sustainable and resilient interventions.

    Course Details 

  •  People
    Human dimensions and engagement

    The People course challenges participants to analyze socio-cultural and political factors that drive the actions of stakeholders in forest landscapes. Participants explore: (a) who is making decisions and why, (b) how different systems of ownership and knowledge can support sustainable practices and (c) how power, gender and social status affect management of and access to resources.

    Course Details 

  •  Strategies
    Land use planning and implementation

    The Strategies course exposes participants to approaches to conserve, restore and sustainably use forest landscapes using interventions that align with local conditions. Participants learn how to select, plan and monitor activities for multiple goals, including: (a) timber and non-timber forest products, (b) sustainable agricultural production, (c) ecosystem services and (d) mitigating and adapting to climate change.

    Course Details 

  •  Funding
    Financial concepts and tools

    The Funding course equips participants to evaluate opportunities and tradeoffs across potential funding sources for conservation and restoration. Building from efforts in prior courses, participants will learn about: a) basic financial concepts and project planning, b) major types of funding sources and what funders are looking for and c) the types of funding are likely to a good match for their initiative.

    Course Details 

One-year project course

  •  Capstone Project
    Designing a conservation or restoration project

    The Capstone project course presents a suite of project tools and concepts to apply to real-world projects. Participants will learn underlying principles of project planning, practice techniques and apply concepts to the case study that they select. Participants complete the course with experience in designing, planning and monitoring projects.

    Course Details 

One-week field course (optional)

  •  Field
    Conservation, restoration and sustainable use in practice

    The optional Field course immerses participants in a tropical forest landscape for one week with multiple and oftentimes competing land use practices. The course challenges participants to think critically about what it takes to turn a project plan into action. Participants: (a) visit conservation and restoration projects, (b) meet people who are making a difference in the field, (c) practice skills and (d) enhance their teamwork abilities.

    Course Details 


Read more on courses here.

The 2024-2025 program will run from June 24, 2024 to May 7, 2025 Learn more about the curriculum here



Build your credibility as a highly skilled and well-connected professional on a flexible schedule.


Identify the building blocks of effective conservation and restoration initiatives and learn how to enhance your plans.

  •   Improve governance, stakeholder dialogue and community engagement of your initiatives
  •   Design and run monitoring and evaluation processes to achieve measurable results
  •   Use tools of project finance and fundraising to access funding 
  •   Plan an effective conservation and restoration project, policy, business plan or another initiative and learn how to achieve social, ecological and financial goals


Learn cutting-edge science and applied experience from a diverse team of Yale University faculty members and global experts.

Advance your career and achieve results for conservation and livelihoods from anywhere in the world.


Access online tools to stay connected throughout the year.

Access online materials at any time

View recorded lectures, case studies and readings and complete course assignments on a flexible schedule to balance your personal commitments and careers.

Receive support from dedicated mentors

Work with mentors who will serve as a support team to guide you every step of the way so you have the resources you need to achieve your learning goals.

Practice skills with expert advice

Develop or improve an implementable initiative and gain the skillsets to make it happen, all with guidance from Yale faculty members and international practitioners.

Connect with people in real time

Communicate weekly in real-time with instructors, peers and experts to discuss ideas and get feedback.

Expand your network

Meet environmental leaders from around the world with the help of ELTI mentors to make sure that you and your peers stay engaged.

Apply theory to field practice

You have the option to attend a weeklong immersion experience at an ELTI field site in the tropics. You will visit demonstration sites, practice skills gained in the online courses and network with leaders. Possible locations: Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Philippines and Indonesia.

Read testimonials about participant experiences  


Yale University has a long history of excellence. You will gain access to experts, training materials and networks of the:

The Yale School of the Environment (YSE) has been at the forefront of bringing science to solutions for over 100 years. We are known for innovative scholarship, practice and impactful engagement that advance solutions for complex natural resource and environmental challenges. Our mission is to lead the world toward a sustainable future with cutting-edge research, teaching and public engagement on society’s evolving and urgent environmental challenges. Our graduates go on to become nationally and internationally recognized environmental leaders.

The Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative at Yale University (ELTI) is a global reference for practical training on tropical conservation and restoration. Our online and field courses integrate the science of YSE with the applied expertise of ELTI’s global network of partners. Our mission is to empower people from all sectors and backgrounds to restore and conserve tropical forest landscapes using strategies that support biodiversity and livelihoods. ELTI alumni become innovative leaders who achieve tangible results for people and the environment.

ELTI was created with generous funding from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin – www.arcadiafund.org.uk