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Companion modelling for resilient and adaptive social agro-ecological systems in Asia

Trébuil G.. 2008. In : Agriculture for community and environment ready to handle climate change : proceedings : Fourth National Agricultural Systems Conference, Chiang Mai, Thaïlande, 27-28 may 2008. s.l. : s.n., p. 90-104. National Agricultural Systems Conference. 4, 2008-05-27/2008-05-28, Chiang Maï (Thaïlande).

The Companion Modelling (ComMod) approach for renewable resource management (RRM) is a highly interactive collaborative modelling process used by researchers and local stakeholders to co-construct a shared representation of a given complex issue, and to use it to explore possible solutions of their choice through simulations. The scientific posture of the ComMod researcher creates an original relation between him, the models he develops, and the field actors and circumstances. By considering him/herself as part of the system under study, the researcher is one stakeholder among others in such action research process. ComMod main objectives are (i) to better understand a complex agro-ecosystem through the collaborative construction and joint use of different types of simulation models integrating various stakeholders' points of view, and (ii) to use these models within platforms for collective teaming to facilitate multiple stakeholders' coordination and negotiation processes leading to the definition of agreed-upon collective action plans to mitigate their common RRM problems. The ComMod approach relies very much on the use of Multi-Agent Systems (MAS) combined in various ways with Role-Playing Games (RPG) to facilitate Integrated RRM (IRRM) by focusing on the management of interactions between ecological and social dynamics. A ComMod process alternates lab. modelling and field work phases in an iterative but evolving way, during which its hypotheses and methodology are systematically explicated and regularly questioned and adapted. Since the introduction of this approach and its tools in 2002, a dozen of ComMod case studies have been developed in the Southeast Asian region, most of them in Thailand. They looked at a broad range of topics ranging from highland catchment management, access to non timber forest products and cattle grazing in forest areas, crop substitution and market integration, land/water use and labour migrations, agro-biodiversity management in a rice seed system, and biodiversity conservation in coastal management. Following a brief history of the ComMod approach and a short presentation of its theoretical references, its objectives and fundamental principles are introduced. The main phases of a ComMod process, i.e. initialisation, conceptualization, model implementation & validation, scenario exploration, and monitoring & evaluation, are also presented. Finally, the future perspectives for the development of the ComMod approach and the current hot issues being debated are briefly discussed. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : asie

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