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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.


The role-play included in this packet is a facilitated, multi-issue negotiation simulation for eight or nine participants about the management of five dams in the hypothetical Pearl River basin. This role-play is meant to be used in conjunction with a system dynamics model, which simulates potential environmental and economic outcomes under different dam management alternatives in the Pearl River basin. The user interface for the system dynamics model can be accessed at: The science-based role-play negotiation simulation provides opportunity for discussion of complex topics surrounding human-environment interactions, use of scientific data and modeling in environmental decision-making under uncertainty, and the mutual gains approach to negotiations over water resources. This PDF includes the following materials: (1) Teaching instructions, (2) Presentation slides, (3) Table place cards for each role, (4) General instructions for all players, which describe the setting of the Pearl River Basin, provide details on the status of the five dams in the basin, and outline the three decisions to be negotiated, and (5) Confidential instructions for the eight roles, which provide background information about each role, including about the role’s specific interests and constraints. A video introducing the role-play is available at:

William Winslow of the UNH Data Discovery Center helped with developing the web-based user interface.



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This role-play case was developed with funding provided by the National Science Foundation's Research Infrastructure Improvement (NSF #IIA-1539071).

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