Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Puerto Mauricio Development Conflict Simulation – Parts I & IIMultiple 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)

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SCENARIO:

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.

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • 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.

 

MECHANICS:

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.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

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

 

KEYWORDS/ THEMES:

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

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

Managing Groundwater Beneath the Pablo-Burford Border

Hitana Bay Development Simulation

 

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
PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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If you wish 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 “Participant Copies.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required; 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 “Participant Copies.” 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.