Rights and responsibilities = Resolution

Problem: Socio-ecological issues at the local global levels are often complex, problematic and polarizing. Factions often "dig in" with their own perspective. Resolution will eventually happen, but as a result of power and influence rather than fairness. Objective: Achieve a road map for sequential resolution through a facilitated process to establish rights and responsibilities of vested interest groups. Activities or process: 1) Define the situation or issue in the form of a preamble. 2) Create "Rights" for individuals, families,neighborhoods, institutions (schools, university), community(defined as first level of governance), business/industry, regional, state and national government.Categories may vary by issue. Example: Individuals have the right to access clean potable water in their homes. 3) Repeat the same groups for "responsibilities". Example: Individuals have the responsibility to pay taxes which support a clean water municipality. 4)Group similarities for each right and responsibility into five or six themes that address the scope of the issue. 5)In sub-groups, develop an objective for each theme that moves toward resolution 6) Then develop one or more tactics, methods or tasks to address the theme (note: its best to create only one or two - perhaps one for short term and another for longer term) 7)Develop an evaluation, measurement tool or standard for achievement of the objective 8) Refine as needed, adopt and celebrate!

Results obtained or anticipated: this process has been effective as a teaching tool to frame real issues - such as the mud floods and the loss of public green space in Indonesia. At the Caretakers of the Environment International conference last summer in Aalborg, Denmark, 25 students from 14 different countries were facilitated over two sessions and developed some striking results around the broad issue of climate change. These will be presented at the next UN Conference on Climate Change in Fall 2009 at Copenhagen. Students become mobilized with this approach, and can become engaged in resolving a socio-ecological issue rather than only forming an opinion about it. (this process could be demonstrated within a 45 minute time frame depending on group size, but 60 minutes is ideal.