Interactive agroecological story

A nice interactive game on solving dilemmas between different stakeholders can be found at  The game is a simple-minded and optimistic story which is used as an excercise for people to learn the basics about scenario simulation, dynamical adaptive systems, sustainability attributes, multicriteria analysis, among others.  In the first act, slash and burn maize farmers  are compelled by the government to leave a biodiversity reserve zone and to intensify maize production in a smaller area using urea. The user plays the role of the farmer, explores scenarios and decides if he can sustain his family economy under the government´s proposal.

In act 2, rural families that depend on ecotourism in a clear lake downhill feel their income threatened by water murkiness caused by nitrogen coming into the lake from the maize farmer´s fields. As part of negotiation with uphill farmers, the user (now in the role of the lake-side dweller) needs to know how much N they can accept to run into the lake before it becomes murky. A number of simulations helps the user find out the limits (which of course depend on initial conditions in the bi-stable regime). Time series coupled with  parameter-sensitive cup and marble models that run as real time animations allow the user to better understand the cusp catastrophe involved

In act 3 farmers try to comply with such restriction imposed by the interests of the lake side people. The farmer, together with the lakesier and the government, first consider if its possible to do so under a maize moncrop system and later under a maize-leguminous shrub system. A simple agroforestry model is behind the curtains and the user currently has access only to a small set of its parameters.

Each act provides: the story with illustrations, a scenario simulator  based on minimalist dynamical models,  a number of excercises that must be solved before going further and a graphical tutorial.

One thought on “Interactive agroecological story”

  1. Just wanted to thank you for marking out this article – and thank all of you for what looks like a terrific site.

    Kind regards…

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