Participants from Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam gathered in Bangkok from February 2-6 to trial an interactive role play training activity focused on the Low Emission Land Use Planning (LELUP) module of the USAID LEAF Climate Change Curriculum. A role play is a unique method of teaching, whereby participants place themselves in the shoes of key stakeholders from a variety of communities and organizations involved in a particular activity, and try to learn from and appreciate the views of that person and their position. Participants in the LELUP role play take on roles such as Director of a Government Forestry Administration, head of a community organization, Deputy Director of a private forestry company, or Senior Policy Advisor for an NGO, and then develop a mock low emission land use plan based on the different priorities of each character. “When we need to set a policy for our province or locality, we need the ideas and suggestions of all stakeholders,” said Dr. Anusorn Boonpoke, a lecturer and the School of Energy and Environment at Phayao University in Thailand. “This technique will be very useful for engaging people at both university and local levels.”
USAID LEAF collaborated with partners the United States Forest Service and RECOFTC – the Center for People and Forests, to develop the role play and hold the Training of Trainers workshop. In addition to refining the training materials, participants acquired the knowledge and skills to serve as trainers themselves to support their colleagues’ efforts to integrate it into courses featuring the USAID LEAF Climate Change Curriculum.