The project Conflict and Cooperation over REDD+ (CoCooR) focuses on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and related forest-based climate change mitigation policies and financing mechanisms. It is widely acknowledged that REDD+ may aggravate the protracted conflicts characterizing forestry in Asia or cause new ones in the absence of a conflict-sensitive approach. However, the changes in cross-scale governance brought about by REDD+ may also provide unprecedented opportunities for transforming existing conflicts, including promoting cooperation.
CoCooR seeks to increase the understanding of the impacts of REDD+ on conflict and cooperation in developing countries through research in Mexico, Nepal and Vietnam. The research enables the project to further develop a conflict prediction checklist for REDD+ practitioners, produce recommendations on conflict-sensitive national safeguards processes for decision makers and provide relevant capacity development for local communities, grassroots organizations, NGOs, government and REDD+ project developers. The project’s implications, for example, for conflict transformation go well beyond REDD+, in other words for outsider-forest community interactions in general. RECOFTC will be leading on developing training manuals and capacity development activities, and supporting the research and strategic communication areas of the work.
The CoCooR project partly builds on RECOFTC’s work on conflict transformation in the context of climate change. This work aims at building a strong understanding of stakeholder and conflict management within REDD+, with particular focus on local communities. The focus on local communities is based on the understanding that external interventions in forests (e.g. a REDD+ project) can have significant negative impacts on those living in and around the forests, but also provides considerable opportunities. This work has included research conducted by RECOFTC and partners in Nepal (2011-2013), Vietnam (2011), Cambodia (2013-2014) and Myanmar (2013-2014), with the research feeding into training courses in the subject area. Additionally CoCooR complements other RECOFTC projects including ‘Grassroots Equity and Enhanced Networks in the Mekong’ (GREEN Mekong) funded by USAID and ‘Grassroots Capacity Building for REDD+’ funded by NORAD.