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Livelihoods of local communities in an Amazonian floodplain coping with global changes. From role-playing games to hybrid simulations to involve local stakeholders in participatory foresight study at territorial level

Bommel P., Bonnet M.P., Coudel E., Haentjens E., Kraus C.N., Melo G., Nasuti S., Le Page C.. 2016. In : Sauvage, S. (ed.), Sánchez-Pérez, J.M. (ed.), Rizzoli, A.E. (ed.). Proceedings of the 8th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software. Toulouse : Université de Toulouse, p. 1140-1147. International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Sofware (iEMSs 2016). 8, 2016-07-10/2016-07-14, Toulouse (France).

In the Amazonian floodplains, the local populations living from agricultural activities and fishing, have always coped natural variations, between flood and dry seasons. However, the rhythm and the amplitude of these floods are disturbed nowadays, resulting in great uncertainty for these populations. Biophysics and social scientists have joined hands to help these populations better improve their resilience to such changes. Our initial goal aims to better understand and discuss the impacts of current practices in the long term. To ad dress this, we first turned the perspective around the preoccupations and strategies of local populations and collectively discussed possible future scenarios. Using a role-playing game (RPG) as a dialogue interface, an agent-based model (ABM) was progressively built. This is a hybrid model allowing the users to interact with the simulation: they take seasonal decisions on agriculture, fishing and animal husbandry, which are virtually performed by the model that simulates the evolution of the territory and provides production outputs. Moving from RPG to hybrid simulation enables sophisticated calculations and scenarios on a broader timeframe. However this experiment revealed that external actors (ranchers, commercial fishing companies, mining companies...) might contribute to environment al degradation that impacts the living conditions of the local actors. Faced with these problems, we claim a non-neutral posture that promotes equity and sustainability. Beyond technology, we address the issue of power plays and of how to integrate external stakeholders while strengthening the capacities of the most vulnerable.

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