Playing roles that could be real

28 July 2008 | News story

Several stakeholders from the governmental sector, NGOs and civil society together with IUCN practitioners, took part in a capacity building event focused on negotiating agreements for conflict resolutions on shared waters.

This interactive event, held by the IUCN Environmental Law Centre and organized by IUCN Mesoamerica, took place from 16 to 18 July, in La Antigua, Guatemala. 

The event contributed to the discussion around the legal and political aspects relating to shared waters (rivers, lakes, wetlands and coastal zones). It focused specifically on building capacities by analyzing negotiation processes and agreements for conflict solving.

During the event several different methodologies were applied, including conferences and roundtables, but it was indistinguishably characterized by a learning-through-role-playing exercise in which the participants assumed different roles from the ones they carry out in their normal professional lives.

This allowed all the participants to experience the different standpoints of traditional stakeholders within water conflicts, along a pre-designed illusionary river basin.

The experiences lived through the event helped the participants to understand how to improve their negotiation skills, especially in water scarcity scenarios, and to explore the benefits of cooperation through water arrangements, for delivering integrated resource management on transboundary waters.


This image shows the courtship behavior of Indian Bull frogs (Holobatrachus tigerinus). During the monsoon, the breeding males become bright yellow in color, while females remain dull. The prominent blue vocal sacs of male produce strong nasal mating call.