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Simulation and Sustainability


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This presentation recounts the experiences of Dalhousie University’s SUST 2001: Environment, Sustainability and Governance: A Global Perspective, first taught in Winter 2011, which included modules on biodiversity, food and agriculture, and environmental security. The students in the course assumed stakeholder positions and engaged in negotiations that recreated debates within the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity regarding Access and Benefit Sharing. An interactive online component was created to replicate the dynamism of real-world negotiations of Multilateral Environmental Agreements. Wiki documents allowed students to engage in collaborative writing and editing of draft proposals which were debated and submitted during plenary sessions. Wimba Classroom allowed students to interact in virtual negotiation and mediation and to upload media presentations on their positions. This presentation evaluates the effectiveness of these learning technologies in assisting students to understand the complexities of Multilateral Environmental Agreements.

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Simulation and Sustainability

  1. 1. Simulation and Sustainability- Readiness: Leveraging E-Learning Technology for Real-World ImpactThe case of SUST 2001: Environment, Sustainability and Governance: A Global PerspectiveRachael P. Craig, Dr. Matthew Schnurr, and Dr. Elizabeth DeSanto Contact
  2. 2. College of Sustainability“Theres no time like the ● First in Canada,present to change the announced in 2009.future of our planet.” ● Transdiciplinary ● Classes are co-taught ● Provide a full credit in a single semester ● Tutorial sessions engage learning
  3. 3. Course Learning Objectives● Analyse pressing issues within globalenvironmental politics● Critically evaluate the governance regimes thathave emerged to regulate these issues
  4. 4. Simulated Negotiation Learning Objectives● Understand the complexity of negotiatingMultilateral Environmental Agreements●Negotiation●Lobbying●Mediation●Compromise
  5. 5. Blended Learning
  6. 6. Simulation Setting● United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity● Global agreement to address biodiversity preservation and loss● 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention
  7. 7. Simulation SettingImages modified from source. Rightmost image: Nagoya Castle, copyright CBD Secretariat. Central image: Actor andenvironmentalist Harrison Ford is present during the UN talks in Nagoya as Conservation International (CI) Vice Chairman.Image courtesy of Haja Nirina. Rightmost image: Higashiyama Botanical Garden Hacchou Dragonfly, copyright CBDSecretariat.
  8. 8. The 10th Conference of Parties Meeting Convention on Biological Diversity● Nagoya Protocol on Access and BenefitSharing● Fair and equitable sharing of benefits arisingfrom genetic resources
  9. 9. Simulation SettingThe simulated negotiation began with the re-opening of four of the most contentious articles ofthe Nagoya Protocol for debate.
  10. 10. Students Take on Stakeholder Roles ● Each student represents one stakeholder ● Nation States such as Canada, France and Malawi ● Organizations such as Greenpeace, IFPMA, and World Bank
  11. 11. Rules of Procedure Adapted from the rules of Procedure that govern the meetings of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
  12. 12. Conduct and Decorum Students are encouraged to be factually accurate in the representation of their chosen stakeholder, including dressing the part.
  13. 13. Blended Learning
  14. 14. Learning Progression ● Progression of skills and ideas ● Building up to Plenary
  15. 15. Evaluation● 5% participation in Plenary, Working Groups and online● 15% position paper assignment
  16. 16. Self Paced Learning● Position Paper “I really have to● Research commend you, I would not be able to● Required Reading do what you did.”● Understanding how to Student representing role play their Kenya to the United stakeholder States and Canada
  17. 17. Face to Face Learning ● Plenary ● (Lectures)
  18. 18. Face to Face Learning ● Lobbying ● placards ● Dissent ● “seeds of dissent”
  19. 19. Face to Face Learning ● Working Groups ● (Tutorials)
  20. 20. Guest Speaker, John Scott● Programme Officer for Traditional Knowledge● Key organizer● Insight into real world negotiations● Role of coalitions and personality in political outcomes
  21. 21. Online Collaborative Learning● OWL Website
  22. 22. Online Collaborative Learning● OWL Website
  23. 23. Online Collaborative Learning● Wimba Live Classroom
  24. 24. Online Collaborative Learning● Discussion Forums ● Stakeholder Discussion – form coalitions – acts of dissent – organize meetings
  25. 25. Online Collaborative Learning● Discussion Forums ● Simulation: Comments and Inquiries – sharing OOC information – general questions
  26. 26. Online Collaborative Learning● Campus Pack Wiki ● an editable website ● students post amendments, revisions and comments to the policy under debate ● in plenary, working groups, and independently
  27. 27. Online Collaborative Learning● Campus Pack Wiki
  28. 28. What students have to say, “I did not realize how particular [international negotiations] are, especially with wording.” “It was important to realize how annoying it is to negotiate for long periods about seemingly benign parts of different articles.” “I learned that negotiating international policies can be very frustrating because everyone has different opinions, economic status, incentives and abilities.”
  29. 29. Course Learning Objectives●Analyse the complexities of global issues inenvironmental politics●Understand how environmental policies areformed●Develop research and writing skills
  30. 30. Simulated Negotiation Learning Objectives● Understand the complexity of negotiatingMultilateral Environmental Agreements●Negotiation●Lobbying●Mediation●Compromise
  31. 31. What students have to say, “I feel as though the simulation succeeded in wrapping up all of the different components of the class.” “I learned about forging alliances, and finding like-minded groups of people to form coalitions. I also learned to discuss articles with those who may not share similar views to reach a consensus.”
  32. 32. Real World Impact● Focus on finding outlets to create change● Contacted local MPs
  33. 33. Self Paced Learning & Face to FaceLearning● Future directions ● Stakeholder representation – pairs rather than individuals ● Additional training – policy writing – researching stakeholders ● New timeline – starts early, runs full semester
  34. 34. Online Collaborative Learning● Future directions ● Camtasia Relay ● Wimba Classroom – emphasis on student-generated media ● Campus Pack Wiki – simplify policy text – consider alternative wiki software ● Incorporate new technology. Suggestions?
  35. 35. Evaluation● Future directions ● 5% participation in Plenary, Working Groups and online – Increase participation grade ● 15% position paper assignments
  36. 36. Image Permissions and CreditsCBD Images courtesy of Hiraj Narina and theCBD Secretariat as noted.All other images are property of the SUST2001staff.