Land and Forest Resources and Conflict. CDP 532: Unit 2 Sushila C Nepali (PhD) September 2013. Course content. Unit 2: Land and Forest Resources and Conflict (10 hours) Land and forest resources and rural livelihoods Issues of resource scarcity and inequality in land and forest resources
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Land and Forest Resources and Conflict
CDP 532: Unit 2
Sushila C Nepali (PhD)
Unit 2: Land and Forest Resources and Conflict (10 hours)
Why does conflict occur over the use of natural resources ?
How are external factors built into local conflict ?
What governing mechanisms are conductive to equitable and sustainable natural resources ?
When do local strategies for conflict mgt. need to be complemented or replaced by external or new mechanisms?
How can research/ policies help to identify opportunities for turning conflict into collaboration?
Why is collaboration in NRM so difficult ?
People every where have competed for the natural resources.
They need or want to ensure or enhance their livelihood.
However, the dimensions, level, and intensity of conflict vary greatly
Regional/ National/ global
Intensity of the conflict
From confusion and frustration among members of a community over poorly communicated development policies
Violent clashes between groups over resources ownership right and responsibilities
Use of natural resource is susceptible to conflict for number of reasons
NR is subject to increasing scarcity due to rapid environmental change, increasing demand and unequal distribution
NRs are also embedded in a shared social space where complex and unequal relations are established among a wide range of social actors (Ethinic groups, Government agencies, Small scale farmers, Agro export producers)
Importance to people
3 quarters of all poor people live in rural areas
Forests and Climate Change:
World Forest Cover
Status in the 50’s
Control of resources largely by the state and community
Forest Protection Act- Legalisation of National Forest
Conflict here with resource control and use
Forest Conservation through Panchayat Forest, Community Panchayat, Religious Forest
Forest Conservation to Protected area formation, Buffer zone, etc
Terai Migration-Malaria Eradication
Highway and other development works
ownership issues between individuals and the local community and/or government,
Identification of users and access to forest products.
illegal exploitation and export of NTFPs,
hunting and poaching of wild animals and animal products from the forests.
collection of firewood for funerals,
use of trees from the forest to build wooden bridges over rivers and streams,
leadership of forest users groups (FUG)
Implementation of and deviation from the operational plan,
Conflict between FUGs, between individuals and FUGs and between FUGs and the DFO.
Conflict because if the forest is spread over more than one administrative unit and geographical and political boundaries
Use of forest products and their purpose (subsistence v/s commercial interests),
Degree of participation and contribution (who does how much),
Confusion on policies and the intervention of different organisations in the same area.
People are involved in illegal harvesting of forest resources
Forest professionals use it as a source of income.
Conflict in identification of users
Conflict in sharing benefit
Conflict in participation and contribution
Conflict in leadership
Forest users groups’ written arrangement v/s practice
* Major forest management practices (forest regimes) and important for the study of conflicts
Causes of conflict over forest resource
Why ‘natural resource’ (forest) has been the site of conflict?
Competition over forest products (both timber and NTFP) among various groups (traders, local elites, government agencies, political groups)
Conflict in CF (within / between user groups or beyond)…in hills and in Tarai
Land stress, displacement / migration, “illegal settlers”, landlessness (Kamaiya / Sukumbasis): encroachments of forest area
Forest legislation: Contradictory / overlapping formal / informal provisions (e.g. Forest and land laws, local governance and forest governance laws, development programs and protection / management agencies),
Unclear property rights /changing ownership rights
Ownership and identification of users, group harmony, traditional interactions
Exclusion and denying traditional and customary practices: Indigenous groups (Rautes), Occupational caste (Kamis), Livestock herders, Ultra-poor who live on forest products
Inequity in management, sharing of cost and benefits and distribution of roles, responsibilities and rights (Discriminations based on class, caste, ethnicity, gender, level of political / human / social capital is reflected in the CF)
Forest use: Protection of ecosystem services, cultural differences, collection of fuel, fodders, leaf litters, economic benefits (collection of NTFPs, Timbers etc), constructions
Political rivalry and competition for leadership among elites
Forest area and boundaries
Between CFUGs and Gov agencies
During approval, new restriction and provisions for institutional and technical aspects of forests (Inventory), failure to recognize traditional practices and traditional conflict resolution process
Conflict due to policies in Tarai
Community vs. Collaborative forests (very complex issues in the current political contexts)
Conflicts on benefits
(Benefits: Fuelwood, grass and other livestock needs, Timber, and institutional benefits such as training, group leader etc.)
Lack of transparency, and conflict.
Actors involve: FUC and CFUG
(Examples: meeting allowance, tea and refreshment, etc.)
Socio-cultural context and Conflict
(Society is stratified due to caste/ethnicity: Brahmin, chhetri, Baisya and Sudra are four caste hierarchy and 61 ethnic group. Sudra or Dalit are untouchable people and placed in low status in society)
Traditional use right vs. community forestry
Conflict due to forest boundary
Cited from Dhungana (2010: 135)
Exclusion and displacement of indigenous groups
Violating nature-culture relationship and denying traditional livelihood strategies without alternative opportunities and without understanding cultural contexts of local people
Uneven distribution of costs and benefits associated with PA creation
Damage of local crops/ livestock and people’s lives without compensation
Forced eviction of people
Behaviors of park authority and security guards to local people, particularly to women
Restriction to use natural resources for daily use (forest products, fishes)
People have grievances to PA lead to various movements of local indigenous people (Bote / Majhi of Chitwan Nat Park)
Entry fee, illegal poaching and smuggling, trade of wildlife products,
Target to state, authorities and security forces by many
Linkage of park-people conflict with Maoists insurgency (Matthew and Upreti)