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Co-constructing an agent-based model to mediate land use conflict between herders and foresters in northern Thailand

Dumrongrojwatthana P., Le Page C., Gajaseni N., Trébuil G.. 2009. In : US-IALE 2009 Symposium "Coupling Humans and Complex Ecological Landscapes", Apris 12-16, 2009, Snowbird, Utah, Etats-Unis. s.l. : s.n., 29 p.. US-IALE 2009 Symposium "Coupling Humans and Complex Ecological Landscapes", 2009-04-12/2009-04-16, Snowbird (Etats-Unis).

Landscape dynamics are driven by complex interactions among ecological, social, economic, and policy factors. In conservation areas, these factors are usually related to an increasing number of diverse land resource managers and users. Land use conflicts occur frequently because they have different interest, objectives and perceptions of landscape resources and their use. Sharing these different, but all legitimate, perceptions of the landscape and its use among concerned stakeholders is a pre-requisite for better collective land management, particularly in conservation areas. This research is using the integrative companion modeling approach to co-construct an agent-based model representing the dynamic interactions between vegetation dynamics, reforestation efforts, and livestock grazing in the upper watershed of Nan province, northern Thailand. The paper focuses on the participatory modeling process implemented with local stakeholders at this site. Three main investigation tools were used to exchange and gather knowledge on ecological and human decision making processes: field surveys (land use history and analysis of vegetation dynamics at the landscape level), farmers' interviews (analysis of individual decision making and determining factors across different farm types), and institutional analysis in relation with changes in land use policy and related state interventions. This knowledge was first assembled in simple gaming exercises presented to local herders and foresters to further enrich and validate the researchers' understanding of key interactions regulating vegetation and land use dynamics. The outputs of these collaborative modeling activities were used to design a hybrid agentbased hybrid simulator blending a role-playing game and a computer program developed under the CORMAS platform. This simulation tool, representing the complex human and ecological interactions at the landscape level, allowed stakeholders to criticize and improve this comprehensive formalization of the landscape dynamics. It was also used to introduce simulation exercises with local stakeholders and to stimulate them to identify possible future land management scenarios mitigating the current conflict.

Mots-clés : thaïlande

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