No text will be made available to the groups prior to the meeting; they will have to formulate, on the basis of a documentation kit sent to them before the meeting, a proposal for an international treaty on the topics of international trade in endangered species and whaling. It should be possible to eventually use the text they will create in a diplomatic conference. How will the groups legally transpose their values and the different components of the problem? Will they be able to reconcile their sometimes divergent or irreconcilable interests?
On this page, you will find the information and material needed to complete the biodiversity simulation successfully. Enjoy your reading!
Originally created for a group of law students, the interdisciplinary nature of this simulation makes it customizable to all fields. Designed to be completed by participants who are not necessarily trained in the issue of climate change, essential information is provided to them by the organizers.
We are happy to share all the documents created for this simulation in open access. You will find below a complete documentation kit for direct download. It contains tools related to the treaty, the stakeholder profiles, the staging, the preparation and the debriefing of the activity.
For more information on the development and implementation of this simulation, we invite you to consult the various sections of this page.
If you embark on this adventure, feel free to contact us to discuss it or to give us your feedback!
Here you can download all the documents from the simulation. In each of the tabs, the documents will be available again, this time separated by topic, according to your preference.
The development of learning outcomes is essential to the construction of this type of activity. This preliminary reflection guides the choice and implementation of the various tools that articulate the simulation, facilitates the resolution of problems encountered and supports the success of learners.
Here are the main learning outcomes that we have established to develop the Expert Meeting on Biodiversity:
After this activity, participants will be able to:
It is in this sense that we have developed an activity to raise students’ awareness of the interdisciplinary dynamics of negotiating a text in international environmental law, by confronting them with a active and experiential learning environment.
Preparation beforehand: Although this may seem obvious, we recommend that you plan a few weeks to prepare for the activity. In our experience, the ideal is to allow an intensive week of research and planning. This exercise helps to achieve a thoughtful and structured activity.
Preparation on the day of the activity: The preparation work to be carried out before D-Day is not to be neglected. For example, you will need to find a room adapted to the activity, gather material, prepare hard copies of the files for each group, design the technological media (Twitter feed, logos, images) and of course finalize the main tools (treaties, stakeholder profiles, powers, etc.) Time will be your enemy, be prepared!
The text to negotiate: In this simulation template, there is no pre-written text to negotiate. Expert (or influencing) groups must draft a set of international environmental law provisions from scratch. These article proposals will then be discussed and negotiated at the Expert Meeting to suggest a common set of articles.
Number of participants: This simulation is planned for 6 to 30 participants divided into six expert (or influencing) groups. We recommend keeping a reasonable total number of participants (maximum 30) to facilitate the logistical organization of the activity and exchanges between participants in the classroom. To meet this requirement, the total number of participants can be divided into several sessions.
A duration of one hour and a half to two hours and a half is required to complete the activity in class. However, it is up to the organizer to adjust the amount of time they wish to devote to the activity.
One week before the activity, each delegation receives the following documents:
48 hours before the classroom negotiation:
On the day of the activity, the groups meet in person.
Tip!: This “on the spot” feedback exercise provides a quick feedback for the organizer, allowing them to make adjustments.
One week after the activity, one or more sessions may be allotted for a debriefing on the simulation, its execution and its results.
Tip! There are deliberately few and very simple rules to allow participants to understand them easily and to not unnecessarily complicate the activity.
The simulation has two phases:
To consider: The rules presented here can be adapted to ensure that the activity runs smoothly and is suitable for all types of audiences. The organizers can adapt or supplement the rules according to their needs and preferences.
Instructions: To view the description of each section, please open the tab by clicking on the title of the section you wish to view.
General rules concerning the adoption of the articles shall be communicated to all participants:
To keep in mind! The organizer is the “simulation master”! They are responsible for the proper application of the rules.
The choice of room is essential. Today, we have an easier access to active learning rooms. This type of space is generally perfectly suited for such activities as it strengthens student involvement and commitment. It also provides an environment that foster interactions and problem solving.
Here are some of the features it should have:
To keep in mind!: Unlike the Diplomatic Conference, the room may have less technological equipment since this simulation model is less formal.
Tip! The choice of room may vary depending on the nature of the activity. For example, you may choose a more formal room for the first simulation model (conference of the parties) while a more informal decorum is more appropriate for the second (expert meeting).
Technological supports offer opportunities that can improve the success of the activity. They create a unique staging that contributes to the immersion and experience of learners.
In post-simulation assessments, students regularly demand more technological components.
Screens and projectors: They allow to “personalize” the room and the activity. For example, they can be used to display the logo of the activity, the logo of the delegations or the negotiated text. They are an asset in terms of contextualization, and they set up, in particular, a certain formalism in the room. There are also numerous active learning rooms with multifunctional screens, which open up many opportunities for innovation.
Countdown: Displaying a time countdown on one of the giant screens in the room can be a component that helps students immerse themselves (just type “countdown” into Google, enter the desired time and put it on full screen). It establishes a kind of obligation of success for delegations, which seems to contribute to student engagement.
News Feed :
Tip! The creation of this type of tool allows the organizer to adapt to the course of the activity. Slide scrolling management can offer a good flexibility.
The material supports contribute to the learning experience by creating an immersive decorum and facilitating the course of the activity. In the context of the Expert Meeting on Biodiversity, we have created:
You can download the files of logos, banners, power cards and accreditation badges by clicking on the icon below.
Treaties (or international conventions) are the key documents for this type of activity. Since they present the content that will be negotiated by the participants, they are the main documentation source for this exercise. Their design can vary both in form and content.
The choice of form has a significant impact on the level of difficulty of the exercise; it could allow you to change the complexity of the activity during a session. Three options are available:
Level 1 – Multiple Choices: Several versions of an article are made available to delegations. They will have to select the one that is the most consistent with their profile. This is the option used for the “Diplomatic Conference” model.
Level 2 – Cloze Test: Some key words or sentences in the articles may be removed. The choice of alternative words or expressions, as well as the justification for this choice, is left to each of the delegations.
Level 3 – Drafting From Scratch: The complete drafting of the articles may be the responsibility of the participants. In this case, the organizer will not have to design a treaty, but rather provide guidelines or a structure. This option, used for the “Expert Meeting” model, implies that the participants have acquired, beforehand, some basic knowledge of international environmental law.
In this simulation, no fictitious treaty is given to the participants. Each expert group will have to, supported by several documents, draft its own version of an international treaty and then negotiate a shared treaty with the other groups.
Note: Since the level of difficulty is increased, this simulation requires that the participants have a better understanding of the basic knowledge.
To guide the drafting of the treaty, here are the tools we provide to the participants during the preparation phase:
Note: For this biodiversity topic, the scenarios we have developed are international trade in endangered species and whale conservation.
It is useful to target scenarios according to the following considerations:
Several categories of stakeholders can be integrated into simulation-type activities. The choice of the kind of stakeholders depends mainly on four elements:
At the Expert Meeting on Biodiversity, participants represent the scientific communities, the private sector and non-governmental organizations.
In this simulation, participants represent different civil society groups. These profiles were developed using a grid to diversify perspectives, but also to balance relationships between the stakeholders.
You can download all the stakeholder profiles by clicking below.
A set of templates we have developed could allow you to design your own activity. As general scope theoretical tools, they can be modified and improved. If you make such changes, feel free to share them with us.
To keep in mind! Several templates have been designed to structure the logic and organization of simulation activities, both in the context of diplomatic conferences and expert meetings.
In the context of this simulation model, we have developed three templates for the purpose of designing a similar activity:
This tool is used to create the conceptual boundaries of the activity. In this grid, it is possible to enter:
The content and categories of this template can be adapted. However, they do provide an effective framework for the organization of a simulation of negotiation in international environmental law, i.e. to define the scope of the activity and the knowledge it requires. Once finalized, the grid can be given to the participants to guide them.
This tool was developed in order to balance the dynamics and power relations between the different stakeholders represented. The aim is to identify two main categories that make it possible to define a stakeholder profile.
In this second simulation model, we identified “the world view through the sustainable development perspective” and “the relationship to knowledge”. The first category seemed relevant to establish the shared points and specificities of each of the actors. We were thus able to define the profile of each actor through a representation based on the three pillars of sustainable development (environment, society, economy).
The second category is more specific to the learning objectives; it makes it possible to conceptualize how the different actors use available (or not) information and to theorize the activity according to the knowledge you want learners to use. This category allows to add a certain precision in the construction of stakeholder profiles.
This grid makes it easier to create scenarios in activities where participants have to negotiate a text that they write themselves. Indeed, since the groups do not have to choose between pre-existing options listed in a treaty proposal given to them, it is necessary for organizers to be able to guide the nature and scope of the items discussed. To do this, several scenarios are determined, on the one hand, according to the topic chosen, and on the other hand, according to the templates previously discussed. The creation of scenarios is essential to guide the debates, to choose the legal mechanisms raised, but also to select the supporting documents. The categories listed in this instrument may vary according to the main topic of the activity.