Modelización participativa para la evaluación integrada de la sostenibilidad de los recursos hídricos: el Modelo del Mundo Celular y el Proyecto Matisse

David Tábara, Bodil Elmqvist, Ilhan Akgun, Cristina Madrid, Lennart Olson, Michel Schilperoord, Pieter Valkering, Patrick Wallman, Paul Weaver


This paper describes the participatory process of developing and implementing a prototype model. This model is aimed at supporting integrated sustainability assessment (ISA) of policy options for managing water resources at different levels of action. The model is called the World Cellular Model (WCM). It represents agents’ behaviour in terms of their systemic relationships with the environment. This is achieved by examining three aspects. Firstly, we analyse the interests, motives, cultural beliefs and other structural conditions that drive agents’ actions with regard to their use of reserves and flows of water. Secondly, we examine different levels of the impact of agents’ behaviour on the environment and on natural ecosystems. Thirdly, we analyse in a coevolutionary way the impact of such environmental changes on the behaviour of agents. The WCM uses an integrated, multi-scale, agent-based perspective. Agents operate in a single interrelated system in which each individual or collective agent responds to the availability and use of a set of reserves and flows of social rules and/or institutions (S), energy and resources (E), information and knowledge (I) that in turn provokes environmental change (C) or impact on the social ecological system.

This model is being developed with the collaboration of discussion groups, as part of a participatory integrated assessment process. Groups include people who are involved in water management. These group members have insight into agents’ behaviour and the possible architecture of the model. Their contributions can help to increase the model’s socio-ecological robustness and policy relevance. Our research is part of the EU-funded project MATISSE (Methods and Tools for Integrated Sustainability Assessment).


Càtedra UNESCO de Sostenibilidad | Revista Internacional STH

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