Environmental Role-Play:

Puerto Mauricio Development Conflict Simulation – Parts I & II Multiple stakeholders must engage in a debate about land use and measure any agreement against the rules of an inter-governmental committee.


Mieke van der Wansem, Tracy Dyke and Lawrence Susskind

Thirteen-person, multi-issue, two-round, partially scoreable negotiation among government, industry, environmental, and farming stakeholders to develop a land-use plan (Part I) and among additional government stakeholders over plan approval (Part II)


Please note: you must order a copy (a.k.a. license/usage fee) for every person participating in the simulation in your course. This simulation has multiple roles, so you will be unable to complete your purchase without meeting the minimum quantity requirement of copies per role.

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PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You will have one week to download your materials from when you receive the email. You are then only authorized to use, print, or share the materials as many times as the number of copies you purchase. The TNRC charges for use of this simulation on a per-participant basis. Therefore, you must purchase a separate copy of this simulation for each person who will be participating, regardless of the number of roles in the simulation. You will only receive a link to one electronic file, which includes all general instructions, confidential instructions, and any teaching notes for the simulation. You should separate out the instructions before distributing to participants.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.).

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If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, a PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package for the simulation is available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. All Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters.

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To order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Quantity.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required.

If you are ordering hard copies, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Quantity.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.

Bulk Pricing Discount

For bulk orders, we offer the following pricing discounts. Please note that these only apply to bulk orders of the same simulation.

  • Between 100-250 copies – 10% discount
  • Between 251-500 copies – 25% discount
  • More than 500 copies – 50% discount
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Part I: The coastal town of Puerto Mauricio is faced with a number of important development decisions. First, a large and cultural significant parcel of land is about to be sold. The two potential purchasers are a national environmental group and a local hotel owner – who plan to use the land is very different ways. At the same time, the environmental group is lobbying to destroy a nearby dam to preserve a surrounding estuary – much to the dismay of the local farmers who depend on the dam for irrigation. Finally, a high-tech firm is seeking to develop a nearby parcel of land and their plans involve bringing in light industry to this region. Stakeholders in this matter are coming together to see if they can reach an agreement on developments plans for the area. It is important that any agreement fits within the constructs of the Provincial Land Use Plan and National Sustainability Principles.

Part II: The agreement from Part I is sent to an inter-governmental committee charged with implementing the National Sustainability Principles. The five-person committee meets with three representatives from Puerto Mauricio. The parties negotiate about how to interpret implications of the Sustainability Principles for the Puerto Mauricio Development Proposal. Ultimately, the government committee must decide whether to accept the Proposal and to write a press release to explain their decision to the public.



  • Mutual gains: Too often, adversarial interactions between governments, conservation organizations and business/ corporate entities result for all parties in the loss of value. Focus on developing mutually advantageous solutions. It is not necessary that for one party to 'win,' the other party must 'lose.'
  • Problem solving dialogue. It is important that the stakeholders develop an appropriate consensus building forum such that they can have a meaningful problem solving dialogue.
  • Strategic partnerships: Parties are encouraged to explore common interests and focus on long-term relationships.
  • Connect policy and project-level negotiations. Parties are encouraged to link high level theoretical policy discussions to 'on-the-ground' practical outcomes.



Estimated Time Requirements:

Part 1

45 mins – read instructions and confer with other people playing the same role

90 mins – negotiate

45 mins (minimum) – debrief


Part II

45 mins – read instructions and confer with other people playing the same role

30 mins – each group of 3 or 5 plan their group strategy

90 mins – negotiate

45 mins (minimum) debrief

Total: 5 hours


Facility needs:

Room with table and seats for 8, flipcharts, nametags, markers. Breakout rooms for private caucuses.



For all parties:

Part I:

  • Appendix A – The Proposals
  • Appendix B – Map of Puerto Mauricio
  • Appendix C – Summary of the Provincial Development Plan for Alienta
  • Appendix D – Sustainability Principles for Ventura
  • Appendix E – Environmental Impact study on the Lento River Dam
  • Appendix F – Negotiation Worksheet


Part II:

  • Inter-ministerial committee instructions
  • Puerto Mauricio representative's instructions


Role specific:

Part I

  • Governor of Alientia (facilitator)
  • Regional Head of the Ministry of Environment
  • Mayor of the town of Puerto Mauricio
  • Executive Director of Naturtrust
  • Owner of the Hotel Mauritz
  • President of Operations, Computech Inc.
  • Farm Union Director
  • Representative from 'Citizens for an Open Castle'


Part II:

  • Deputy Director of the Ministry of Environment
  • Assistant Director of the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Director of the Ministry of Social Welfare
  • Director General of the Ministry of Culture
  • Senior Manager of the Ministry of Economic Affairs


Teacher's package (57 pages)

  • All of the above
  • Teaching notes



Negotiations for sustainability; environmental dispute resolution; intergovernmental negotiations; multi-party negotiation; infrastructure development disputes



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Puerto Mauricio Development Conflict Simulation - Parts I & II Attributes

Time required: 5 or more hours
Number of participants: 8
Teams involved: No
Agent present: None
Neutral third party present: Facilitator
Scoreable: Yes
Teaching notes available: Yes