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Increasing tenure security and managing conflicts with co-management agreements
Written by: Clara Jamart
Organizations: Association pour contribuer à l’Amélioration de la Gouvernance de la Terre, de l’Eau et des Ressources naturelles (AGTER), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), The World Conservation Union (IUCN), The IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP), CEESP Co-management Working Group (CEES-CWMG), Centre for Sustainable Development & Environment (CENESTA)
Type of document: Paper / Document for wide distribution
Borrini-Feyerabend Grazia, Pimbert Michel, Farvar M.Taghi, Kothari Ashish, Renard Yves et al, Sharing Power - Learning by Doing in Comanagement of Natural Resources throughout the World, IIED, IUCN, CMWG, CEESP, 2004
In an ideal situation, agreements for sharing power over land and natural resources among multiple relevant social actors are the fruit of political processes aiming for greater social justice and ecological sustainability. The negotiations leading up to such co-management agreements can be the forum for addressing other, related affairs. For instance, indigenous and local institutions may (re)gain legitimacy and influence by securing entitlements over ancestral lands such as the following case of a National Park in Columbia.
The negotiations preceding co-management may also be the occasion to air certain tensions among those involved in natural resource management. In the relatively recent history of many countries, access to and decision-making power over land and natural resources have excluded many social actors. The excluded people may feel that they have been deprived of their rights and unjustly treated. They may also have been attempting, overtly or covertly, to gain access to natural resources and their benefits regardless of the “law”.This situation can lead to serious conflicts. The collaborative, participatory approaches used in co-management arrangements can create safe spaces where grievances might be expressed and peaceful solutions might be achieved. The following South African example demonstrates how co-management can be a tool for conflict management.