How Negotiation Role-Play Simulations Can Help You Resolve Environmental Disputes

By on / Teaching Negotiation

From complicated land use debates to the regulation of pollutants, environmental negotiations are fraught with dynamic legal, scientific, and societal considerations. Because many of the natural resources in question are limited and fragile, disputes over them can be particularly difficult.

To help educate professionals about how to work through challenging environmental and sustainability negotiations, the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) offers a wide range of role-play exercises.

Two of the TNRC’s most useful negotiation role-play simulations for learning how to negotiate environmental disputes are Puerto Mauricio Development Conflict and Water Use: Helping Cities Adapt to Climate Change Risks.

Puerto Mauricio Development Conflict – Featured Negotiation Role-Play Simulation

There are many issues at play in the coastal town of Puerto Mauricio. A culturally significant parcel of land is about to be sold and the two potential buyers – a hotel owner and an environmental group – plan to use the land in very different ways. At the same time, a high-tech firm is seeking to develop a parcel of land nearby.

This thirteen-person, multi-issue, two-round, partially scorable negotiation role-play offers participants ample opportunity to:

  • Focus on developing mutually advantageous solutions where it isn’t necessary for one party to “win, and the other party to lose”
  • Develop an appropriate consensus building forum such that they can have a meaningful problem-solving dialogue
  • Form strategic partnerships by exploring common interests and focusing on long-term relationships
  • Link high-level theoretical policy discussions to “on-the-ground” practical outcomes

Water Use: Helping Cities Adapt to Climate Change Risks – Featured Negotiation Role-Play Simulation

One of our most precious resources – water – is hotly contested in this six-party, multi-issue negotiation role-play between environmental, economic, social, and political interests.

  • Broadening perspectives to facilitate discussion among multiple stakeholders
  • Enhancing scenario-planning to guide decision-making
  • Working toward “no-regrets” solutions in which all priorities are met
  • Balancing competing interests and building consensus
  • Understanding important nuances of environmental negotiations including climate projections, infrastructure planning, and federal, state, and local regulations

Teaching Moment – The Consensus Building Approach

Effective consensus building in multi-party, environmental disputes is a valuable skill and can make or break a negotiation. The Program On Negotiation’s Vice-Chair of Education, Larry Susskind, offers key insights into the consensus building approach in this free video.

Enjoy this and more videos at our Teaching Negotiation Resource Center playlist on youtube.

Take your training to the next level with the TNRC

The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center offers a wide range of effective teaching materials, including

Most TNRC materials are designed for educational purposes— for use in college classrooms or corporate training settings. TNRC cases and exercises help mediators and facilitators introduce their clients to a process or issue and help individuals who want to enhance their negotiation skills and knowledge.

Negotiation role-play simulations introduce participants to new negotiation and dispute resolution tools, techniques and strategies. Videos are also a helpful way of introducing viewers to key concepts, and TNRC books, case studies, and periodicals address the theory and practice of negotiation and conflict management.

Check out all that the TNRC has in store >>

Originally published in 2014.

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