This App forms the interface of a system dynamics model that was developed for the Banni grasslands. The system dynamics model captures the interactions between land, biomass, livestock, livelihood/economy and rainfall. The model is developed in order to serve as a learning tool that can help people understand different possible future scenarios of Banni. It is meant to provide insights and not future forecasts. The model simulates the overall behaviour of the system, from 2018-2030, by modeling the interactions between various ecological and economic variables. This is particularly helpful since the human mind is often unable to remember and simulate such interactions to understand how systems could behave over time. It is for this reason that we are often surprised by the outcomes of our own interventions, i.e., what we expected vs what actually happened. The outcomes are often distant over time and space, and the effects of our own actions may only be seen after a long delay. An example is the current dominance of the alien invasive species Prosopis juliflora (PJ) on the Banni grasslands as a result of interventions many decades earlier (it was introduced as far back as the 1960s). Hence, for sustaining a commons such as the Banni grasslands, it is important that people are enabled to think through such interactions between ecological and economic systems, and what impacts their own decisions would have on their lives and livelihood.
Converted into a mobile App, the model becomes far more engaging in nature. The App uses pictures, interactive graphics, and simplified model structures to replicate the insights that the simulation model is capable of delivering. Due to its simple, interactive, and engaging nature, the App could have a greater outreach as compared to the system dynamics model. Through the App we aim to engage with stakeholders to, together, envision the possible future scenarios of Banni and what decisions could take them closer to the future that is consistent with their priorities.