Conflicts between different herders in access to pastures and water holes  have to be carefully handled. <br/> Photo: Helvetas

Conflicts between different herders in access to pastures and water holes have to be carefully handled.
Photo: Helvetas

Natural resources management is conflict management

The development organisation HELVETAS has compiled a fact sheet on natural resources and conflict.

Land, water, forests and livestock as well as marine life are primary sources of income for a good part of the population in developing countries. In many cases, natural resources are considered common goods or are utilised by several users.

Resource management always involves co-operation but also different – often competing – interests. Drawing on experiences in more than 20 countries, HELVETAS has learnt that any complex management of natural resources will likely have to address the issues of ownership of natural resources, allocation of power to manage and control natural resources and the sharing of natural-resource benefits.

Many political contexts are therefore inevitably affected by conflicts. To prevent violent conflicts, assess risks and foster adaptation as well as innovation, HELVETAS advocates for increased analysis of interest and needs of actors, as well as their power relations and rights that influence resource management in different settings. Evidence shows that good analysis and subsequent measures allow projects to increase their impact and contribute to conflict prevention.
 
In a fact sheet, HELVETAS presents its findings and what role development aid can play to foster a conflict-sensitive programme management in development projects.

For more information, please see the fact sheet in full length

(HELVETAS/wi)