Understanding and Resolving Conflict between Local Communities and Conservation Authorities in Colombia

Understanding and Resolving Conflict between Local Communities and Conservation Authorities in Colombia

Source: World Development, 2017

Author(s): Kobe De Pourcq, Evert Thomas, Bas Arts, An Vranckx, Tomás Enrique León Sicard, and Patrick Van Damme

Countries: Colombia

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Dispute Resolution/Mediation, Governance, Land, Renewable Resources

Added: 09/03/2017

 

Conflicts between indigenous and local communities, on the one hand, and national protected area administrations on the other are pervasive. A better understanding of these park-people conflicts would assist in suitable policy changes to constructively address them while concurrently pursuing conservation and livelihood goals. We interviewed 601 people living inside or along the borders of fifteen Colombian NPAs to identify five main categories of park-people conflicts. Based on interviews with 128 community leaders and 76 institutional-level respondents -mainly park officers- we discuss the five principal factors underlying the identified conflicts and present a conflict framework relating the dominant sources to the most prominent conflict manifestations. Finally, we detail five strategies toward conflict prevention. While simultaneous interventions at multiple levels would be ideal or preferred, our analysis suggests that the incidence of park-people conflicts in Colombia can be substantially lowered through (i) making the environmental legislative body more socially inclusive; and (ii) adequately empowering NPA administrations. We expect our findings to be valuable for managing conflict contexts in protected areas in other tropical countries. Further research is necessary to determine the most effective interventions for both conflict resolution and meeting conservation goals.

 

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