At 29th of October 2020 in Riga took place simulation role game “Response bioeconomy strategy to Covid-19” performed by bachelor and master students with supervision of PhD students of environmental engineering from Institute of Energy Systems and Environment. Role game main problem question that had to be solved was “How to invest smart the COVID-19 emergency support funds, not only to mitigate effects of pandemic (sustainable recovery of economy), but also to maintain the transition to sustainable bioeconomy development?” European Union has approved support of 35,5 million EUR for Latvia. The aim was to distribute the funding for COVID-19 emergency recovery support, considering the objectives of the EU bioeconomy strategy and the impact of COVID-19 on the production and use of primary resources among the three main groups of bioresources: Forestry (group 1), Agriculture (group 2), Fisheries and aquacultures (group 3). Students were selected for different roles, where agriculture, forestry and fishery groups tried to convince students that played role of Cabinet of Ministers (group 4) why they need this support and how it could contribute for not only recovery, but for bioeconomy strategic goals as well. There was also one secret role – tourism (group 5) which main aim was to convince Cabinet of Ministers that they are impacted the most and they should be the ones to support. Other groups that participated in discussions and with questions trying to impact the decision making for their benefit was investors (group 6), environmental activists/NGO (group 7) and representatives from municipalities (group 8).
All groups were defending their opinion, forestry sector had strong presentation and investors had good questions that showed their interest and raised some issues that should be considered before making decision. Tourism group took everybody by surprise, but it did not get the funding as they wanted, there were lack of data provided in presentation that would reach the criteria for decision making. Final decision from Cabinet of Ministers was made as fallows: Agriculture receives 15,34 million with no constraints were to invest; Forestry receives 9,775 million for new equipment, employees training, and damages made by insects; Tourism sector gets 6,225 million for development of regions; and for Fisheries and aquacultures receives 4,5 million for purpose they consider most needed.
Video link to role game: https://youtu.be/m4MaantFnks