Understanding conflicts dynamics in participatory natural resources management

Idrissou, L.; Aarts, M.N.C.; Leeuwis, C.; Paassen, A. van


This paper investigated conflicts in participatory protected areas management in Benin to better understand their dynamics. This review paper is based on four articles written from three case-studies of conflicts that emerged and evolved in participatory protected areas management in Benin and a review of literature on the issue of conflicts in participatory processes, particularly in natural resources management. The objective of the case-studies was to understand why and how
conflicts emerge and evolve in negotiation among the stakeholders involved in the participatory management of protected areas in Benin. Three cases were studied where participatory protected areas management started with cooperation and shifted into conflicts among the stakeholders involved. In each case-study, frame analysis was used to investigate how stakeholders involved built cooperation at the start of the process and why and how conflicts emerged and evolved. Building upon the results of the individual case-studies and
the comparative analysis conducted in a fourth paper, this paper identifies the cross-cutting conclusions and themes about the emergence and escalation of conflict in participatory processes. Subsequently, the paper discusses the practical implications for participatory and community-based natural resources management. The paper ends with the overall conclusion on conflict emergence
and evolution in participatory natural resources management, including a reflection on the usefulness of a frame analysis for understanding conflict dynamics in participatory processes.