An evolving simulation/gaming process to facilitate adaptive watershed management in northern mountainous Thailand

Cécile Barnaud, Tanya Promburom, Guy Trébuil, François Bousquet
2007 Simulation & Gaming  
Guy TREBUIL François BOUSQUET Cirad Decentralization of natural resources management provides an opportunity for communities to increase their participation in related decision-making. Research should propose adapted methodologies enabling the numerous local stakeholders of these complex socio-ecological settings to define themselves their problems and to identify agreed-upon solutions. In the research presented in this paper, a Companion Modelling (ComMod) approach combining Role-Playing Games
more » ... (RPG) and Multi-Agent Systems (MAS) has been conducted in a highland community of Northern Thailand to support collective learning for adaptive land management. A representation of the situation was collectively built and used with local stakeholders as a platform to explore future scenarios. The results of this experiment highlight the need for adaptive and continuously evolving models because learning is evolving by its nature. The initial objective of this ComMod experiment was to address the problem of soil erosion. The participants identified the expansion of perennial crops as a promising solution and these discussions raised in turn a new problem related to unequal ability of villagers to invest in such crops. The researchers flexibly adapted their tools to the new emerging question. After an evaluation of the learning effects of this experiment, this article identifies two main factors that contributed to the success of this learning process : an increased participation of the local stakeholders, and the flexibility of the modelling process. The main suggestion of improvement is a stronger linkage with organizations at a higher institutional level to ensure concrete and sustainable impacts for the communities.
doi:10.1177/1046878107300670 fatcat:mphkhqdznnh7nm3puhus64u4gq