About ELP


Rofi Alhanif“Words are just not enough to express my appreciation to the ELP. The program is so powerful. It provides me with new perspectives on how humans and nature are interrelated: how small the earth is to fulfill human needs, and how big the impact of human development on this small earth. The program should be shared and spread all over the world to bring more positive impact!”

Rofi Alhanif, 2008 ELP
Ministry of Marine Affairs & Fisheries, Indonesia

The Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) at UC Berkeley seeks to strengthen the capacities of new generations of environmental leaders around the world through access to state-of-the-art knowledge, and opportunities for peer learning, networking, and collaboration on a continuing basis.  ELP leaders are challenged to meet environmental goals with collaborative solutions that also reduce poverty and social conflict.


Over the last nineteen years (2001-2019), the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program has graduated 702 members from over 114 countries. Participants come from a wide range of environmental and sustainable development agencies and organizations, local to global, who share in common the goal to better understand and support sustainable human-environment interactions. For a breakdown of ELP alumni by geographic region, type of organization, discipline/specialty and gender, click here.

“I deeply appreciate the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program for its outreach and impact, and also for its success in linking Berkeley’s tremendous resources on the global environment with the people in the field who need access to this knowledge.”

— Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau, University of California at Berkeley


The Beahrs ELP offers an annual international three-week summer certificate course in Sustainable Environmental Management held at the Berkeley campus. The course provides participants access to a wide range of UC Berkeley, San Francisco Bay Area and California resources through faculty and guest lectures, debates, panels, case studies, on-campus labs, and field trips.

  • UCB faculty and researchers who are internationally recognized for their expertise in the fields of agricultural, resource & development economics & policy, agroecology, conservation biology, ecosystem sciences, rural sociology, political ecology, population & environment, collaborative processes & conflict transformation.
  • California-based non-for-profit, for profit and public organizations and enterprises working on innovative technologies and institutional arrangements to meet the changing needs of a diverse and growing population.
  • A highly diverse agricultural and natural resource state that includes small and large-scale farming, conventional and organic production, innovative approaches to landscape & ecosystem conservation, and a vibrant history of movements for social, environmental and food justice.


Today’s sustainable development and environmental leaders are faced with the dual challenge of protecting the environment while enlarging economic opportunities, especially for the least advantaged sectors of society.  Growing populations dependent on a decreasing resource base, whether in California, Kenya or India, is a major global concern that has generated passionate debate and the on-going search for scientific and policy innovations to improve resource productivity and management, and the resilience of vulnerable communities to climate change.  New types of institutional arrangements are unfolding between governments, civil society, and environmental and social justice advocates to resolve disputes and collaboratively visualize, plan and implement integrated strategies for local and regional territorial development.

The problems are enormous and so is the potential to address them effectively by a diverse community of committed and capable environmental leaders around the world.  The Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) at UC Berkeley is committed to providing a stimulating and supportive forum for building the capacities of new generations of environmental leaders.


The Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program was established in August 2000 with seed funding from UC Berkeley alumni Carolyn and Richard Beahrs. The Program has also received funding from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the United Nations Development Program, the Asia Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund/Education Fund for Nature, Development Alternatives, Inc., the Chevron Foundation, the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources, and private individuals to support scholarships, training and collaborative projects.

To extend access to ELP training and networking beyond Berkeley, the ELP encourages and supports its 702 alumni from over 114 countries to offer leadership courses and other capacity-building platforms in their own institutions and communities. For example, in 2009 Indonesian ELP Alumni launched the Indonesian Youth Leadership for Environmental and Governance Initiatives (IYELGI) with co-funding from UNDP and the Ford Foundation. The ELP also collaborates with the international NGO, EcoAgriculture, and local and regional partners, to offer courses in Leadership for Ecoagriculture and Integrated Territorial Development in Africa and Central America. The ELP maintains strong partner relationships with many international development and environmental organizations.

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