Transforming forest conflict
Throughout Asia, three-quarters of forests and tens of millions of people are affected by conflict. One of the main reasons for forest conflict is that dominant models of forest management — especially conservation in national parks and industrial exploitation — exclude the interests and needs of the people most reliant on forests. National parks, logging and mining operations, plantation concessions, and resorts frequently restrict or outright evict local and indigenous people from the forests where they live and work, usurping the land’s valuable resources.
RECOFTC aims to better understand the causes, impacts, and solutions of forest conflict. We analyze disputes, policies, forestry programs, and regulatory frameworks in the region, and we use our findings to improve advocacy efforts, raise awareness, and build capacity of stakeholders to mitigate and manage conflict. Our research also informs our conflict training courses, which help develop the skills of conflict mediators.
When it comes to forest conflict, prevention is better than a cure. RECOFTC views participatory forest-management approaches, especially community forestry, as essential strategies for reducing forest conflict in the region. All of our thematic programs involve analysis, training, and advocacy toward participatory resource management and, thus, contribute to helping prevent forest conflict.
RECOFTC works to prevent, transform and manage forest conflict by:
- Promoting enhanced understanding about forest conflict and management
- Mainstreaming conflict-transformation approaches
- Strengthening conflict policies and conflict-management capacities
- Providing technical supports and advice
- Supporting best practices development