Complex Projects Modelling as a Tool to Establish a Cooperation Framework within Transboundary basins
Mis à jour le 19 avril 2018
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Communication dans un colloque international avec actes (C-ACTI)

HASSENFORDER E., NOURY B. & DANIEL P. (2010). "Complex Projects Modelling as a Tool to Establish a Cooperation Framework within Transboundary basins". Actes du colloque: ISARM2010, International Conference "Transboundary Aquifers : Challenges and new directions", Paris, France : UNESCO, HP-VII/2010/ISARM2010, 6–8 décembre, 134  

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Résumé :

Transboundary aquifers are a relatively new subject. In particular cases, when the resource is confined and its flow is relatively slow, parties tend to wait for a problem to emerge before they start cooperating. Nevertheless, the geological and hydrogeological specificities of transboundary aquifers prove them to be a less contentious resource than surface water and a great factor of cooperation. Unfortunately, the lack of anticipation of risks and uncertainties and the underestimation of the importance of stakeholders’ management often leads to conflicts.

This article considers the creation of cooperation
through the development and implementation of projects (taken in their broad sense). It explains how, by modelling the development of cooperation projects, it is possible to anticipate the risks and uncertainties that can give rise to conflicts and overcome them in order to ensure the success of both project and cooperation. A study of transboundary cooperation water projects in ten different basins is reported here, with a focus on the “Guarani Aquifer System Project’ (SAG) between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay that ended in 2009. This study is based on the scientific application of Development Modeling© techniques that help defining, evaluating and classifying degrees of complexity in the management of large international projects.

The study allowed the identification of three main conepts explaining sources of conflicts within transboundary aquifers : Innovation, Instability and Uncertainty. First, the degree of innovation of project processes : transboundary aquifers cooperation projects being a novelty on which stakeholders usually never worked, thus lacking references concerning the working process. Second, the degree of instability of project environment : to be sustainable, a cooperation project at a transboundary scale has to go through a political dimension, which is subject to many changes coming from the environment. Third, the degree of uncertainty of project decision making : certain elements that cannot be forecasted by stakeholders and project management teams can heavily impact the cooperation negatively.

This article shows that preparation is necessary for the cooperation project to be sustainable. Complex projects’ modelling is one way to consider the system as a whole and to avoid conflicts, whatever their source. Nowadays, the durability of transboundary aquifers’ resources does not only depend on technical, but also managerial knowledge, and there is a lot to learn from existing best practices.


Mots-clés :

Modelling, conflict anticipation, complexity, risks, uncertainty, stakeholders’ management, project


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