CAPRi hosted an international research workshop on Collective Action, Property Rights, and Confclict in Natural Resources Management from June 28th to July 1st, 2010, in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The workshop focused on the positive ways in which collective action to resolve problems of allocation and access to natural resources can help manage or prevent social conflict more generally. The purpose was to consolidate and synthesize experience on best practices for policy and institutional change, to communicate these internationally, and to initiate a network of researchers and practitioners to share experience and build capacity in this domain.
The longer term vision is an active network committed to strengthening capacity from local to regional scales in Asia, Africa, and Latin America to address the roots of environmental conflict and build social-ecological resilience. Please read the concept note a for a description of this ongoing initiative.
The vast majority of victims in contemporary violent conflicts are civilians who depend directly on natural resources for their livelihoods. The post‐Cold War era is marked by such “subsistence wars,” mostly intra-state or cross-border conflicts occurring in the world’s poorer regions. Environmental destruction, wasteful resource use, and growing livelihood insecurity in these regions lead to greater competition over access to and ownership of natural resources, which acts as a driving or contributing factor to the conflict. A number of recent studies of this trend have attempted to identify the links between competition over natural resources and violent conflict.
Clearly, the progression from resource competition to violence is not inevitable. While much existing research has focused on how poverty, food insecurity, and scarcity of natural resources lead to violent conflict, the ways in which collective action to address these challenges may help to reduce the threat of conflict has received less attention. Numerous cases from Africa, Asia, and Latin America offer examples of conflict resolution or mitigation through efforts to organize for sustainable resource management, ranging from local to regional scales, and encompassing civil society, private, and state actors. These experiences, however, have not been assessed in comparative perspective. The workshop aimed to begin a process of addressing these links systematically, drawing on empirical cases from forests, water, land, fisheries, and other multiple resource systems.
The international workshop focused on the positive ways in which collective action to resolve problems of allocation and access to renewable natural resources can help manage or prevent social conflict more generally.
Papers presented at the workshop addressed the following themes:
- Collective action, property rights, and conflict management. What are the defining characteristics of natural resource management institutions that contribute to resilience in the face of intense competition among resource uses and user groups? What is the role of collective action in creating and sustaining these institutions? In what ways do clarity, equity, or flexibility in property rights influence the likelihood of competition being resolved peacefully rather than violently?
- Rebuilding after violent conflict: The role of natural resources management institutions in community building. What is particular about the challenge of rebuilding institutions (including property rights systems) for natural resources management in the wake of violent conflict? What strategies have proven most successful and why? In what ways does the work of investing in collective action to resolve problems of resource allocation and access reinforce more general efforts at societal reintegration?
Answers to these questions can help improve the design of policies and strategies for development interventions in conflict-affected environments, and identify ways to encourage improvements in natural resources management that reinforce cooperation and avert deepening cycles of conflict. The purpose of this workshop was to consolidate and synthesize experience on best practices for policy and institutional change, to communicate these lessons internationally, and to initiate a network of researchers and practitioners with an ongoing commitment to share experience and build capacity in this domain.
Papers presented at the conference are currently undergoing revision to be released as CAPRi Working Papers. Where not clearly identified as published CAPRi Working Papers, the papers listed below should be considered as drafts not for citation, since revisions are expected.
Resource Conflict, Collective Action, and Resilience: An Analytical Framework
by Blake Ratner, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Candace May, and Eric Haglund. CAPRi Working Paper 100. Washington, DC: IFPRI. 2010
Forest Conflict in Asia and the Role of Collective Action in its Management
by Yurdi Yasmi, Lisa Kelley, and Thomas Enters
Political Economy of Land Access and Control over Natural and Land-Based Resources: A Means for Conflicts Prevention and Management?
by Remy Sietchiping
Third Party Involvement in Collective Water Governance
by Helle Ravnborg and Ligia Gomez. CAPRi Working Paper 101. Washington, DC: IFPRI. 2011.
Not Your Father's NRM: Why Post-Conflict Natural Resource Management is Different
by Carl Bruch (final title/co-authors TBD)
Presentation | Full Text (PDF)
Social identity, Natural Resources, and Peacebuilding
by Arthur Green
Community Forestry in Cease-Fire Zones in Kachin State, Northern Burma: Formalizing Collective Property in Contested Ethnic Areas
by Kevin Woods
Conflict, Cooperation, and Collective Action: Land Use, Water Rights, and Water Scarcity in Manupali Watershed, Southern Philippines
by Caroline Piñon, Delia Catacutan, Beria Leimona, Emma Abasolo, Meine van-Noordwijk, and Lydia Tiongco. CAPRi Working Paper 104. Washington, DC: IFPRI. 2012.
The Outbreak of Peace: Communal Land Management and Traditional Governance in a Remote Cambodian Province
by Jeremy Ironside
Managing Conflicts over Land and Natural Resources Through Collective Action: A Case Study from Rural Communities in Zambia
by Oluyede Clifford Ajayi, Festus Kehinde Akinnifesi, Gudeta Sileshi, Simon Mn'gomba, Olubunmi Adeola Ajayi, Webstar Kanjipite, John Madalitso Ngulube. CAPRi Working Paper 105. Washington, DC: IFPRI. 2012.
Looking Beyond the Obvious: Uncovering the Features of Natural Resource Conflicts in Uganda
by Ephraim Nkonya and Helen Markelova. CAPRi Working Paper 95. Washington, DC: IFPRI. 2009.
Natural Resource Conflicts and Community Organizations in Bangladesh
by Parvin Sultana and Paul Thompson. CAPRi Working Paper 111. Washington, DC: IFPRI. 2013.
Conflict Between Local Communities and Oil Palm Plantations: Two Case Studies of Janting and Suhaid, West Kalimatan, Indonesia
by Yayan Indriatmoko and Esther Mwangi
Presentation | Full Text (PDF)
Whose Land is this Anyway? The Role of Collective Action in Maintaining Community rights to the Land in Kratie, Cambodia
by Horm Chandet, James F. R. Bampton, Lisa Kelley, and Søren Brofeldt
Political Conflicts and Community Forestry: Understanding the Impact of the Decade-Long Armed Conflicts on Environment and Livelihood Securities in Rural Nepal
by Jay Ram Adhikari and Bhim Adhikari
The Ultimate Question of How to Cut the Pie? Revenue-Sharing of Gorilla Tourism in the Virungas (Rwanda)
by Miko Watanabe, Annette Lanjouw, and Eugène Rutagarama
Role of Customary Law and Communities in Natural Resource Management in Post-Conflict East Timor
by Naori Miyazawa
by Matthew Pritchard
by Jon Unruh