How renewable is a renewable resource?

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School:  Yaqan Nukiy

This week in Mr. Brauer’s 5/6 class at Yaqan Nukiy we explored community resource management. In our community we have local industries that rely on renewable resources like forests, water, animals/plants (agriculture).  However, there are many examples in history and around the world where a renewable resource collapses locally because of overfishing/overharvesting.  How can communities help manage their local resources so they are available for future generations?

We played a game where students were grouped in different ‘villages’ that each had a lake with fish to manage.  The villages needed to decide how many fish they were going to harvest, how many were needed to feed the village, how many to sell on the market and how many other supplies they wanted to buy.  During the game, sometimes the villages had challenges that they had to overcome like erosion or flooding.  Sometimes the villages put effort into repairing riparian areas and their fish stocks improved.  Over time (rounds), we were able to see some of the consequences of how each village managed their lakes.  We asked the students at then end of game ‘Would they be happy if you had to inherit this village/lake?’