Preprint Concept Paper Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Before the Next COP: How to Stop Missing our Environmental Policy Targets

Version 1 : Received: 13 August 2021 / Approved: 16 August 2021 / Online: 16 August 2021 (17:09:08 CEST)

How to cite: Garcia, C.A.; Savilaakso, S.; Verburg, R.W.; Stoudmann, N.; Fernbach, P.; Sloman, S.A.; Peterson, G.D.; Araújo, M.B.; Bastin, J.; Boutinot, L.; Dessard, H.; Dray, A.; Francisco, S.; Ghazoul, J.; Feintrenie, L.; Kleinschroth, F.; Naimi, B.; Novotny, I.P.; Oszwald, J.; Pietsch, S.A.; Quétier, F.; Robinson, B.E.; Sassen, M.; Sist, P.; Sunderland, T.; Vermeulen, C.; Wilmé, L.; Wilson, S.J.; Zorondo Rodríguez, F.; Waeber, P.O. Before the Next COP: How to Stop Missing our Environmental Policy Targets. Preprints 2021, 2021080326 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202108.0326.v1). Garcia, C.A.; Savilaakso, S.; Verburg, R.W.; Stoudmann, N.; Fernbach, P.; Sloman, S.A.; Peterson, G.D.; Araújo, M.B.; Bastin, J.; Boutinot, L.; Dessard, H.; Dray, A.; Francisco, S.; Ghazoul, J.; Feintrenie, L.; Kleinschroth, F.; Naimi, B.; Novotny, I.P.; Oszwald, J.; Pietsch, S.A.; Quétier, F.; Robinson, B.E.; Sassen, M.; Sist, P.; Sunderland, T.; Vermeulen, C.; Wilmé, L.; Wilson, S.J.; Zorondo Rodríguez, F.; Waeber, P.O. Before the Next COP: How to Stop Missing our Environmental Policy Targets. Preprints 2021, 2021080326 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202108.0326.v1).

Abstract

While the scientific community has focused on documenting environmental degradation and developing scenarios that help identify the operational margins for system Earth, less attention has been given to the mental models of decision-makers that underpin environmental policies. We suggest that global efforts to stop deforestation and biodiversity loss are failing in part due to a critical blind spot in the analysis—human agency. To address this weakness, we propose to formulate mental models and translate them into strategy games. This will increase the representation of agency in scenario development and create spaces for deliberation between different worldviews. We claim that personal transformation can be achieved through transparent democratic dialogues that identify, challenge, and respond to the human and social limitations inherent to decision-making and we present empirical examples that validate that claim. Their transformation through gaming gives decision-makers access to the experience of consciousness: “what is it like being a stakeholder?”. Such experience will help to break free of established norms in science and political processes.

Keywords

Agency, Transition, Cognition, Land-use change, Games, Democracy

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