Landscape Game: a model to understand the dynamics of land competition, policy measures and sustainability of a landscape


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Inspired by games like Monopoly, SimCity and Snakes and Ladders, CIFOR scientists designed the Landscape Game to help players experiment with the likely impacts of human actions in a landscape where competing land uses and policy dynamics interact. The game challenges players to maximise their revenues, while at the same time being mindful of ecological and social conditions indicated by factors such as landscape diversity, carbon sequestration and job creation. CIFOR researcher Rika Harini Irawati gave this presentation explaining the Landscape Game at the MODSIM International Congress on Model and Simulations held on 12–16 December 2011 in Perth. The conference took the theme ‘Sustaining Our Future: understanding and living with uncertainty’.

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Landscape Game: a model to understand the dynamics of land competition, policy measures and sustainability of a landscape

  1. 1. Landscape Game: A model to understand the dynamics of land competition, policy measures and sustainability of a landscape [Herry Purnomo, Rika Harini Irawati] [MODSIM, December 2011]THINKINGbeyond the canopy
  2. 2. Background Managing landscape involves various actors and land covers Need better understanding of • how each actor rationally behaves • and how they react to rules and regulations set by policy makers Trade-offs frequently occur Landscape Game is a tool for understanding this complexity THINKING beyond the canopy
  3. 3. Aims Providing lessons on what can happen to landscape and to players‟ income when the players apply various strategies. It includes how „Nash Equilibrium‟ is approached, in which all players apply optimal strategy.Nash Equilibrium: solution concept of a game involving two or more players, in which each player is assumed to know the equilibrium strategies of the other players and no player has anything to gain by changing his / her own strategy unilaterally THINKING beyond the canopy
  4. 4. The Game Theory The game‟s realism may take one of several forms (Chomitz, 2007):(a)Explicit reality, where game presents the actors’ real situation and their resources(b)Implicit reality, where game represents a simplified version of actors and their resources(c)Virtual world, where game is based on an issue that is not necessarily related to a specific actor or resource. Romp (1997); Individualism, Rationality, Interdependency THINKING beyond the canopy
  5. 5. The Landscape Game Non-computerized game Based on issues of competing land use, maximizing benefits for each set of actors, and sustainability of forest landscape. Comprises players, a set of possible strategies in forest landscape, and pay-offs. Expected to be played by local communities, policy makers, students and academics. THINKING beyond the canopy
  6. 6. Inspirations Monopoly SimCity American Farmers Snakes and Ladders Fish Game THINKING beyond the canopy
  7. 7. Game Development Players - Ideally six or more people (4 players (may play in collaboration e.g. 2 vs. 2), 1 banker, 1 government and adviser(s)) OR - at least three people (2 players and 1 banker/government) Spatial setting and payoffs - Three types of area: forest core, forest edge and mosaic lands (Chomitz, 2007) - Spatial concepts include land competition, cellular automata, forest cover, settlements, rivers, roads THINKING beyond the canopy
  8. 8. Spatial Setting THINKING beyond the canopy
  9. 9. Landscape Concept Type of Features Poverty and Environmental Governance challenge area development challenge challengeMosaic-land High land value, many Managing landscapes for production and Enforcing property rights inhabitants, small environmental services, preventing over land, trees, and fraction of forest extinctions of threatened species, environmental services fostering carbon sequestrationForest edge Agricultural expansion, Fostering more Avoiding irreversible Restraining resource rapidly increasing land intensive rural degradation, grabs by large actors, values, conflicts over development and mitigating CO2 averting races for forest use access to off-farm emissions, avoiding property rights by employment forest fragmentation smallholders, equitably adjudicating land claimsForest core Mostly forest, contains Providing services Maintaining large- Protecting indigenous minority of forest for dispersed scale environmental people’s rights, averting inhabitants but many populations processes disorderly frontier indigenous people expansion THINKING beyond the canopy
  10. 10. Investments  Players can invest in plantations, ecotourism, timber logging, carbon sequestration, mining and other industries to maximize their benefits on a shared landscape, dynamically ruled by a policy maker.  The policy maker can exercise different policies and rules to sustain the landscape. THINKING beyond the canopy
  11. 11. Pay-offsType of Possible investment Cost (Þ) Return (Þ) Hypothec Return/Investment Notearea (Þ) timeForest Ecotourism Pass the areacore/Forest 10 2 5edge Ecotourism in HCVF 20 3 10 Pass the area HCVF areas Logging concession One cycle Non HCVF area; Need re- 13 50 6 investment after 1 cycle Carbon for avoiding One cycle deforestation 2 3 1Mosaic- Acacia One cycle Need re-investment after 1 cycleland 22 40 11 Oil palm plantation One cycle Need re-investment after 1 cycle 21 59 10 Bio-fuel 6 8 3 One cycle Community based agro- One cycle Need re-investment) after 1 cycle forestry (sengon) 30 74 15 Carbon for re-forestation One cycle 6 6 3Specific Sustainability fund - The fund cards display how muchareas - Take a card points you receive Fire - If there are five patches of fast wood plantation and oil palm 25 - (together). Landslide - If there are five patches of logging concession and coal 15 - mining (together) Risk - The risk cards display what - Take a card risk/threat you will get Coal mining 50 75 20 One cycle Reinvest after two cycle Drinking Water - Get Þ5 for every other players 50 5 30 investment THINKING beyond the canopy
  12. 12. How to play (1) Recommended play time is one hour. The banker distributes initial funds to each player - 100 points; the government has a limited fund (200 points). Initially the players are located randomly. When a player arrives in a certain patch, various investments can be made. Certain patches are dedicated to mining, drinking water investments, „fire‟, „landslide‟ and „sustainability fund‟. THINKING beyond the canopy
  13. 13. How to play (2) The player pays investment costs to the banker. The government can create incentive and disincentive policies during the game (Nash Equilibrium). Players can persuade the government. The players can borrow money (the banker determines the conditions). Players get returns from the banks after one or two cycles (according to the investment). THINKING beyond the canopy
  14. 14. At the end of the game  The players count their cash and total assets.  The government assesses the landscape; if the landscape is getting better, good player(s) can get an award from the government.  The player who collected the most money (including cash, assets and award) will win the game. The banker counts all players‟ money to find out the players‟ productivity and the gap between the „richest‟ and „poorest‟. All players, banker, and government discuss what lesson can be learned from the game. THINKING beyond the canopy
  15. 15. Results 1st Game by forestry studentsInvestments, Player A Player B Player Ccash and loans Landscape Value Landscape Value Landscape ValueAssets Teak 50 Ecotourism (2) 14 Carbon (2) 10 Oil palm 16 Logging (2) 14 Bio fuel 5 Carbon (2) 10 Albazia 25 Acacia 17 Logging 7 Oil palm 16 Teak 50 Ecotourism 7 Water 40 Acacia 17Cash 32 50 118Total 139 129 240 THINKING beyond the canopy
  16. 16. Results (2) 2nd Game played by forestry students (different players) Investments, Player A Player B Player Ccash and loans Landscape Value Landscape Value Landscape ValueAssets Water 45 Acacia 17 Ecotourism 23 non HCVF (3) Carbon 11 Ecotourism 7 Carbon (3) 21 Ecotourism 18 Carbon 5 Oil palm 75 non HCVF (2) Logging 57 Teak 50 Logging 57 Ecotourism 18. HCVFCash 22 50 6Loans 50 0 0Total 121 129 182 THINKING beyond the canopy
  17. 17. Results (3) 3rd game played by RECOFT-University of Wageningen training on GovernanceInvestments, Player A Player B Player C Player Dcash and Landscape Value Landscape Value Landscape Value Landscape ValueloansAssets Albizia 7 Albizia 25 Biofuel (2) 10 Teak (2) 100 Water 40 Logging 14 Carbon (5) 25 Ecotourism 28 (4) Ecotourism 15 Carbon 10 Ecotourism 14 Coal mining 30 HCVF (2) Carbon 5 Bio fuel 10 Forest 7 Logging Ecotourism 21Cash 223 223 99 237Penalty 110 110 110 220Total 198 193 75 175 THINKING beyond the canopy
  18. 18. Discussions  All players imagined and connected the game‟s spatial landscape, social actors and rules to reality.  Background and experiences of players influenced the way they managed „the landscape‟.  Play It Safe vs Risk Taker  "If we were all better people, the world would be a better place"  Policy implements the principles of good governance  participatory, accountability, transparency and effectiveness to sustain the landscape. THINKING beyond the canopy
  19. 19. Impacts of Playing the Game Best strategy to win Understanding reciprocal strategies of the “opponents” Sense of integration between development and conservation activities Effective policy for managing a landscape (anticipate and develop new policies) THINKING beyond the canopy
  20. 20. Conclusions The landscape game is a virtual reality, where players can experience development, conservation and policy implementation in a landscape. The game can stimulate conceptual thinking of landscape management. The game is able to represent the common landscape and its management. THINKING beyond the canopy
  21. 21. CIFOR advances human well-being, environmental conservation, and equity by conducting research to inform policies and practices that affect forests in developing countries. THINKINGbeyond the canopy