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UGEB2240 Natural Wonders of the World


Lecture: Fridays 03:30 p.m. - 06:15p.m.


Professor LAI Yuk Fo

Medium of Instruction


Course Description

For many of us, the natural wonders of our planet are well known, for example, Antarctica, the Amazon Forests, the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon. Yet, few people really understand their formation and presence. This course introduces students to the concepts and processes of environmental change, such as climate change, land use change, desertification, and habitat loss.

The course adopts a scientific approach to help students understand the processes of environmental change behind some of the planet’s famous natural landscapes, landforms and natural phenomena. These shall include the natural processes (geological, atmospheric, hydrological and ecological) and anthropogenic processes (land use change, fossil fuel combustion and infrastructure development).

The course is designed around the four themes of: (i) the processes and patterns of landscape formation; (ii) the combination of natural and human-induced environmental change; (iii) benefits of natural wonders to human beings; and (iv) the methods and challenges of protecting natural wonders.

This course will cover at least three Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely SDG13 Climate Action, SDG14 Life Below Water, and SDG15 Life On Land. The impact of climate change on various natural wonders and related human well-being will be examined, along with possible ways to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Also, the influence of human activities on terrestrial and marine ecosystems, as well as possible options for their sustainable management will be discussed.

Learning Outcome

  • Understand the concepts and explain the formation of different natural landscapes, landforms and phenomena across the planet.
  • Understand the inter-relationships between different physical and human-induced processes in shaping natural landscapes and landforms in the terrestrial and marine environments.
  • Assess the impacts of climate change on natural wonders and evaluate different options of climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • Identify the challenges faced by the world’s natural wonders and develop sustainable solutions in their preservation and management.
  • Improve academic skills in critical thinking, researching, teamwork, presentation, essay editing and writing.


3 -credits

Sustainable Development Goals

Four Areas UGEB Nature, Science and Technology

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