- Suggested duration: 45-60 mins
- Technique used: Debate
- Aim of activity: To help students realise that for each issue, there are different approaches and views that require in-depth analysis and scrutiny, collective and consensus decision-making and action.
- Underpinning components: UC12.1b; UC12.2b; UC12.3a; UC12.3b
- Connection with other competences: Attentiveness; Transdisciplinarity; Action
The scenario of the activity describes a village situated near a protected natural area that attracts the interest of a developer. The developer intends to buy land in the village and build a tourist resort. The area is famous for its biodiversity. The forest hosts unique species and is one of the few local forests that survived from forest fires. The village was very famous for its climate and beauty and many decades ago it was one of the most populated villages in the area. Nowadays the village has very few citizens, mainly old people, and year by year the population declines. The decision of the developer has caused many reactions by the local authority, which is divided in two. On one side, there is the part of the local authority which considers that this project will rejuvenate the area economically and socially by creating new jobs especially for the young people. On the other side, the rest of the local authority functionaries consider that this kind of development will destroy the area, will maximize the risks of the degradation of the area and believe that there are alternative ways for boosting local economy and community, such as using the current infrastructure of the village (e.g. abandoned houses) for agro and eco-tourism, to develop the village in harmony with nature.
Two different positions emerge from the scenario: a) those that agreed with the developer’s project and b) those that are against. For the debate each party must develop its position and support it with arguments. The party that supports the project should emphasise: a) to the rejuvenation of the village; b) the new jobs and the settlement of young people; c) the limitations that they will have to pose to the developer in order to conserve the protected area; d) the active role that they will undertake during the project implementation, etc. Also their justification must include those parameters: a) How the local community will confront the other environmental consequences, b) How will they ensure that the village will benefit from the project, etc. The party that is against the project must give emphasis to: a) the use of the current infrastructure, b) the limits of the development, c) revealing the cultural and natural heritage of the village through other ways, d) the risk of the village remaining isolated, since the tourists will stay in the resort, etc.
It is important that all interested parties reach a decision or suggest alternative solutions for developing the area and actively involve the local community to the decisions and their implementation.