MEDIA RELEASE | Understanding the game: new network investigates how games can create sustainable land management
Nairobi, Kenya, 27 July 2020 — The way water, forests and people interact is complex but critically important to the lives, health and food security of more than half the world’s population. And many tree-planting campaigns are motivated by expectations that they will increase the availability and quality of water and control floods. Sometimes they do but in many cases they don’t. This is because of a mismatch between the local ecological knowledge, the knowledge of policies and regulations and the scientific knowledge of what happens with water in landscapes with forests, trees and agroforestry. This makes it difficult to agree on ways forward.
One of the ways to reach a shared understanding of the underlying processes of climate, soils, vegetation and river or groundwater flow — as influenced by land-use decisions with or without trees — is the use of ‘serious games’. A number of examples now exist where games, constructed on the basis of a specific situation, have helped in reducing conflicts and agreeing on solutions.