Fun

Infographic: How to Live Well in Bolivia

LivingWell-nologos-mediumVivir Bien – living well – is a concept that has been prominent in Bolivian politics over the last few years. It sets out the ideological position of living well in harmony with nature and rejects a mass consumption and fossil fuel based economy.

Although Vivir Bien has even been written into the Bolivian constitution with the 2012 Law of the Rights of Mother Earth the country is at a crossroads: what it says and what it does is at an odds. While Bolivia’s leaders propose a harmonious existence, majority of policies are aimed at expanding people’s ability to farm, which leads to the deforestation of around 300,000 hectares of rainforest every single year.

Today, the Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD) came out with an infographic that proposes a two-policy solution that could help Bolivia reconcile its rhetoric with its actions by reducing deforestation while tackling poverty in an equitable way.  Read More »

New simulation tool tackles deforestation and poverty in Bolivia

logo_SimPachamama_enPRESS RELEASE

For immediate release.

London/ La Paz, September 01, 2013 – A new simulation tool designed to help local Bolivian communities reduce deforestation and tackle poverty has been developed by academics and conservationists around the world.

A new simulation tool designed to help local Bolivian communities reduce deforestation and tackle poverty has been developed by academics and conservationists around the world.

The tool, called SimPachamama (‘Mother Earth simulation’ in local language), is based on extensive scientific research of a real-life Amazonian community and simulates the actions and behaviour of villagers near the agricultural frontier in Bolivia. To be played as a game to inform and educate with respect to land-use decision making, the player is the mayor of the village whose aim is to implement policies to improve the welfare of the locals and minimise adverse impacts on their forests.

It has been designed by an interdisciplinary team of academics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD), Conservation International Bolivia, and the University of Sussex.

The tool aims to help communities make informed decisions about their forest resources and stimulate debate on the kind of development they want for their community. It takes place over a period of 20 years during which the player can experiment with different policies and observe the consequences of his/her decisions.

SimPachamama has been developed as a didactic tool for use in workshops and training courses with communities, government employees and international representatives, and researchers hope it will help everyone come to the best compromise about the use of natural resources.

For example, results generated by the simulation suggests that a domestic tax of about US$450 per hectare of deforested land would be very helpful, especially if it could be structured in a way as to impact mainly large-scale agriculture.

“Bolivia’s agricultural sector is very profitable because land is 10 times cheaper here than in neighbouring countries and the fuel is heavily subsidised. US$450 per hectare would not significantly affect the earnings of the companies involved, but would make a big difference in terms of deforestation and welfare,” said Dr. Lykke Andersen of INESAD.

“In addition, SimPachamama illustrates very clearly the potential benefits, both for the environment and for human wellbeing, that could accrue from a system of international compensation through the Joint Mechanism for Mitigation and Adaptation of Bolivia, the Bolivian alternative to UN-REDD.

“Together, the domestic deforestation tax and the international compensation payments could both slow deforestation and generate one billion dollars every two years, money which could be spent on conservation payments, creation of green jobs, health, education and other anti-poverty programmes,” Dr. Andersen said.

SimPachamama is available as open source and can be downloaded for free from the project web-site: http://inesad.edu.bo/simpachamama. Apart from providing a quick guide to SimPachamama, and on-line courses in both Spanish and English at several levels, the site also acts as a forum for discussing the design of fair and effective mechanisms for reducing deforestation.

— Ends —

For more information, contact Dr. Charles Palmer from the Department of Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, on 020 7107 5093, c.palmer1@lse.ac.uk; Dr. Lykke Andersen from the Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD) on landersen@inesad.edu.bo or (+591) 7 650 1114 or Candy Gibson, LSE Press Office, on 020 7849 4624, c.gibson@lse.ac.uk

Notes to Editors

SimPachamama is funded by the Ecosystems Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme. ESPA aims to deliver high-quality and cutting-edge research that will produce improved understanding of how ecosystems function, the services they provide, the full value of these services, and their potential role in achieving sustainable poverty alleviation. ESPA research provides the evidence and tools to enable decision makers and end users to manage ecosystems sustainably and in a way that contributes to poverty alleviation. See www.espa.ac.uk for more details.

Project Partners:

SimPachamama-project-Partners-e1377792055326

 

INESAD News: Dr. Andersen Gives Keynote Speech

Dr. Lykke Andersen gave a keynote speech entitled “A Theoretical Background to Land Use Change and Social-Ecological System Modeling in SimPachamama” during a two-day workshop on “Using Agent-Based Models to Project Possibilities for REDD+ Policies” held at the University of Florida on April 24-25, 2013.

One of the goals of the workshop was to discuss in which directions to expand and improve INESAD’s Simpachamama – a didactic game that is used as a tool for the participatory design of effective, efficient and equitable policies to reduce deforestation and rural poverty in Bolivia. Click HERE for a description of the game.

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Five Games and Apps to Change the World

Whether it is family Trivia Pursuit at Christmas, Words with Friends on the android phone, or Second Life on a P.C., everyone likes to play games. They are challenging, fun, and constitute a healthy source of friendly competition. However, as Jane McGonigal, an American game designer, argued in her TED talk, they can also make a better world.

Today, Development Roast* highlights five games and applications that are more than mere entertainment, but serve to educate and deeply involve its players in global food, agriculture, and sustainability issues: Read More »

Cartoon Economics: Macroeconomic theories are still just that – Theories.

This month, for our Monday graphics series, Development Roast has teamed up with FSG Books and University of Washington Professor of Economics, the world’s first and only stand-up economist, Yoram Bauman to bring you a sneak peek into the second volume of his book The Cartoon Introduction to EconomicsLearning should be fun, so for five weeks during October, to coincide with INESAD’s Fun Economics Month, Development Roast will share one of the fascinating and fun cartoons from Volume Two: Macroeconomics. Today’s cartoon reminds that much of macroeconomic theory is still open to debate and probable future change. Read More »

21 Reasons Why You Should Never Date An Economist

To coincide with the Fun Economics month on Development Roast, we have drawn inspiration from WhyDev‘s list of 52 Reasons Why You Should Date an Aid Worker and On Motherhood and Insanity‘s 52 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Date Aid and thought long and hard about reasons why dating an economist would be a bad idea. Here are our best 21 thoughts on the matter:

1. Economists may be dangerous. Watch out for the invisible hands!

2. It won’t matter what you supply, they will always demand more.

3. They consider selfish behavior the most natural thing in the world. Read More »

Cartoon Economics: Will the world end or will the free market save it?

This month, for our Monday graphics series, Development Roast has teamed up with FSG Books and University of Washington Professor of Economics, the world’s first and only stand-up economist, Yoram Bauman to bring you a sneak peek into the second volume of his book The Cartoon Introduction to EconomicsLearning should be fun, so for five weeks during October, to coincide with INESAD’s Fun Economics Month, Development Roast will share one of the fascinating and fun cartoons from Volume Two: Macroeconomics. Today’s cartoon pitches the economic optimists versus the pessimists in the ultimate fate of the planet. Read More »

INESAD News: Graffiti on the Great Wall—The Hidden Street Art Culture of Beijing

This week, INESAD’s Carolynn Look published an article in the October 2012 issue of Global South Development Magazine, where she is the editorial assistant and contributor:

Beijing, China. Hundreds of buildings tower over the people that bustle between them every day. Some get demolished, some get rebuilt, some just get a fresh layer of paint. But what strikes you as you walk through this eclectic monster of a city is that none of its buildings are covered in tags or graffiti as they are in other metropolises. Or so you would think on first sight. Read More »

Guest Roast: 9 Development Phrases We Hate and Suggestions for a New Lexicon

Last month the team at WhyDev wrote an article describing nine of their most hated international development phrases, which are often over- and misused,  and asked their readers what they should be called instead. Today, as part of the Fun Economics month at INESAD, they share with Development Roast the results of the humorous public poll and ask for your thoughts and further suggestions. Read More »

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