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patel et al 2013
With the current complexity of issues facing forest and land management, the implementation of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiative comes with significant risks, including conflict.
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While the exact nature and shape of conflict in REDD+ implementation is difficult to pinpoint, RECOFTC-The Center for People and Forests’ recent study aims to build a preliminary predictive framework to identify possible sources of impairment that may result in conflict over management of forests and natural resources, including REDD+. The framework was developed from an extensive literature review and was tested in three REDD+ pilot project sites in Nepal.
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The results indicate that most of the sources of impairment are present in all study sites, particularly issues relating to benefit sharing, which have been main drivers of conflict prior to REDD+. While we found that the application of the framework has been useful in the Nepalese context, there are some limitations in its scope and precision.
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Nonetheless, this study points to important implications with regards to REDD+ implementation and conflict management that can be useful for policy makers and practitioners involved in REDD+ strategy designs, as well as other areas of forest management involving outsiders and communities.
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Citation:
Patel, T.; Dhiaulhaq, A.; Gritten, D.; Yasmi, Y.; De Bruyn, T.; Paudel, N.S.; Luintel, H.; Khatri, D.B.; Silori, C.; Suzuki, R. Predicting Future Conflict under REDD+ Implementation. Forests 20134, 343-363.
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Full text can be downloaded from here
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This was my article published in the Broker,  You can read the original article here

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Whenever the media discuss the consequences of deforestation, they often focus on the environmental impacts, like the loss of forest cover and biodiversity, habitat fragmentation, soil erosion, and the loss of carbon contributing to climate change. However, a large amount of research has highlighted that deforestation, including conversion of forests to other land uses like plantations, agriculture or mining, can also have social consequences. One of the most frequent is conflicts between local communities and external actors like logging, plantation and mining companies and government agencies. These are known as community-outsider conflicts.
 
The link between deforestation and conflict can clearly be seen when overlaying the location of deforestation around the world, as presented in the findings of the recent publication in the journal Science, with where forest conflict hotspots are found. This shows that, for example, Southeast Asia is one such hotspot (Mola-Yudego and Gritten 2010). The nature and scale of forest conversion basically make conflict inevitable because of competing interests and claims, thereby often undermining the needs and interests of the local communities that inhabit the land.
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Deforestation-related conflict reflects the power relations between forest users. It is an area in which the legitimate power and interests of different forest stakeholders, like the government, investors, concession holders, local communities, and NGOs interplay. The way in which one of these parties uses its power can be a cause of conflict when it impedes and is unacceptable to other parties. Southeast Asia’s forest policy and governance has a long history of ‘state knows best’ mentality, which is reflected in top-down decision making and in the authority to the government given by laws and regulations, and a history of strong influence of corporations and other businesses in forest management. In order to boost economic development, the governments of Cambodia and Indonesia, for example, conceded significant tracts of land to private companies for investment in large-scale plantations and agriculture expansion through a concession system, which often not only leads to forest degradation but also undermines the rights of local communities.
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