Table 5. Problems and solutions adopted during the co-construction sessions.


Difficulties Means of resolving it
Problem describing the social–ecological system starting from natural resources Description started from stakeholders
Problem distinguishing “direct stakeholders” from “indirect stakeholders” This point was abandoned
Distances are too great to achieve geographical representativeness (e.g., Boucle du Baoulé) Representativeness of areas where co-construction was launched with regard to what has happened over the entire biosphere reserve
Language problem (different languages in the same place and a high level of illiteracy) Use of diagrams (with icons and arrows) and maps
Problem working on social–ecological interactions Co-construction is achieved through a step-by-step process and the system description was based on stakeholders’ stories and points of view
Large number of interactions led to complexity and cognition problems Participants had to select the six most important agents in order to indirectly restrict the number of social–ecological interactions (described from stakeholders’ stories)
Social–ecological interactions issue in biosphere reserves was too vast to create interest After describing social–ecological interactions, participants had to choose one specific issue that was important to them. Then, a new phase of description was initiated to collectively resolve this common question
Too much time allowed to describe activities and decisions criteria (sometimes 8 h) vis-à-vis the rest of the co-construction process During description of the stakeholders’ activities, mediators asked participants why stakeholders made this kind of choice, why they used this tool... It helped decrease the time taken to describe the activity
Problems initiating sense-making simulations containing accurate information Use of role-playing game
Lack of data Development of simple protocols that allow collection, organization, and standardization of local knowledge