New tools to reduce conflict over natural resources


by AAS | September 24, 2014

Cross-posted from Aquatic Agricultural Systems


Conflict over environmental resources is increasingly a threat to rural people’s livelihoods. Building dialogue among competing groups to manage resource conflict is the challenge addressed in a new suite of resources under the banner Collaborating for Resilience.

The publications use experiences from Asia and Africa to illustrate how to launch innovations that reduce the risk of social conflict, and strengthen institutions for equitable environmental governance. 

Resource conflict can easily escalate thus investing in capacities for conflict management is an important tool in helping to identify and manage risks. Lessons learned and captured in the policy briefs, program reports, and manuals available from the website aim to empower practitioners, researchers, and policy stakeholders working to address this challenge.

Blake Ratner, Research Director, WorldFish: “Climate change, land scarcity, and the demands of agricultural intensification mean that conflict is an increasingly crucial issue to address in natural resource management. These reports outline how structured multi-stakeholder dialogue approaches can help communities gain a voice in resource management planning, access their legal rights, and identify innovations that support local livelihoods.”

Alexander Carius, Managing Director, adelphi: “This work is important because it moves us from analysis of the problems to a strong engagement in working with local actors – farmers, fishers, government agencies, civil society groups, and investors – in finding solutions. Using these resources, we’re advocating for governments and development agencies to integrate collaborative dialogue about environmental resources into program and policy implementation.”

Examples of successful innovations highlighted include enhanced community negotiations; new and successful engagement with private investors; influence on government priorities in addressing the needs of local communities and engaging new sources of support to scale out innovations including UN agencies and national Ministries.

The Collaborating for Resilience website also includes video case studies from Lake Kariba, Zambia; Tonle Sap, Cambodia, and Lake Victoria, Uganda.

The suite of resources is provided under a partnership including the CGIAR Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems; adelphi; and the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets; with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Read the full text here