The need to protect the natural environment, that sustains all life, is now widely recognized. We have passed laws at every level of government to minimize the impact of development on the environment. The complex nature of socio-ecosystem interaction, however, means that these laws and regulations are complicated and open to interpretation. Most of the resources in question are limited and fragile, and different stakeholders want to interpret them in different ways.
Effective negotiation techniques offer parties a way to work through science-intensive public policy. The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) offers a wide range of role play exercises focused on numerous environmental issues, from the global management of pollutants like organochlorines to the siting of an incinerator in poor communities of color. Some of the role plays are aimed at training professionals in local land use planning while others are targeted at diplomats involved in global treaty-making.
We also offer a range of resources on environment and sustainability-related issues. Again, these span a broad spectrum. At the one end, we offer books like Transboundary Environmental Negotiation: New Approaches to Global Cooperation, directed toward those interested in international environmental diplomacy, while at the other we offer books like Using Dispute Resolution Techniques to Address Environmental Justice Concerns: Case Studies, which examine ways of resolving local disputes over environmental problems. Role-play simulations similarly span a broad spectrum.