ENVIRONMENTAL ROLE-PLAY GAMES

The Environmental Five Pack presents five classic environmental dilemmas:

Ћ Siting a Transfer Station

Ћ Controlling the Labs

Ћ Sustaining the Fish

Ћ Hunting For Buried Treasure

Ћ Lords of the Islands

ииии Siting a Transfer Station ииии takes place in a residential urban setting in which a rubbish removal company has proposed to take over an abandoned "brownfield" and to put a solid waste transfer station in its place. This is a classic "environmental justice" scenario in which the interests of the working class residential neighbors are confronted with competing interests in economic recovery, public safety and environmental health. The players are the proposed developer, the mayor, the chamber of commerce, the residents' association, the police, the state enviromental protection agency, the board of health and a competing trash removal company.

ииии Controlling the Labs ииии involves a dispute between a suburban university with its lucrative research laboratories and the residential neighbors over what controls should be imposed on campus research that could harm the community. This is an excellent game for teaching ingroup negotiations in which factions within the university are in potential conflict over the appropriate response to the neighbors' challenge. It raises the important question "How Should Public Institutions Deal With An Angry Public?" The players are the university president, the university's publicist, its environmental safety officer, its star researcher, the head of the neighborhood association, the head of the faculty, the head of the student association and the local health inspector.

ииии Sustaining the Fish ииии involves an effort to save a critical but endangered natural resource. Can the parties find a way to establish a "sustainable" fish supply when there is so much at stake and so little trust of each other? This game represents a classic conflict between science and the working person whose livelihood and entire culture are in jeopardy? Can they find a constructive way to talk to each other in order to save this valuable resource or are they doomed by their inability to work with each other to solve this shared problem? The players include the scientist, the small dragger commercial fisher, the small gillnetter commercial fisher, the large commercial fisher, the mayor of the fishing community, the canner, the Senator, and the environmentalist.

ииии Hunting For Buried Treasure ииии involves a proposal by a treasure hunter who wishes to act on one or more treasure maps that s/he believes to be reliable. S/he needs the agreement of the Insurance Company that paid off on the lost treasure, the Governor who is facing a tough election, the Heirs of the Pirate who stole the treasure and made the map, the Residents of the island, an Environmental Group, a Federal Agency, and a Developer from the next island. This is a classic clash of conflicting interests over the best way to manage natural resources. This game teaches the importance of long-term planning to solve difficult, short-term problems. It also illustrates the different kinds of claims of legitimacy that may be available to the parties to recover their fair share of the treasure. The players have Secrets cards that flesh out their roles which include the professional treasure hunter whose pirate map reveals eleven possible buried treasures on the island; the governor of the state which owns the island; the inhabitants' association representing those who live on the island; the inhabitant heirs of the pirate who claim an ownership interest in the treasure; the environmentalists; the developers' association from a neighboring, developed island, the federal agency responsible for regulating coastal lands, an an environmental organization dedicated to preserving natural habitats, and the developer of a neighboring island who has built a hotel complex and has unique problems and capacities.

ииии Lords of the Islands ииии described earlier in the Disaster Five Pack is an excellent introduction for younger players to the importance of long term environmental management. In one week, the 80 prep school survivors of the plane crash have killed the only female boar on the island, have accidentally burned a major source of fire wood for rescue fires and cooking, and have potentially contaminated the islands' only known source of drinking water. Do they plan to be rescued in another week or do they prepare to survive on these islands for the indefinite future? The Green Heads, the survivors' environmentalists, present a direct challenge to the other groups to include responsible stewardship of the islands' natural resources in the constitution they are drafting.