Turning conflicts into cooperation? The role of adaptive learning and deliberation in managing natural resources conflicts in Nepal

Ojha, Hemant Raj, Bhusal, P, Paudel, Naya Sharma, Thompson, Paul M. and Sultana, Parvin (2018) Turning conflicts into cooperation? The role of adaptive learning and deliberation in managing natural resources conflicts in Nepal. Climate Policy . ISSN 1469-3062 (Published online first) (doi:10.1080/14693062.2018.1556240)

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Abstract

Conflicts over natural resources are likely to escalate under changing socio-economic contexts and climate change. This paper tests the effectiveness of what we term Adaptive Learning and Deliberation (ALD) in understanding and addressing conflicts over the local management of forests and water, drawing on the experimental works in Nepal. Based on a three-year action research, the paper offers policy and practical insights on how complex and protracted conflicts can be addressed through researcher-facilitated inquiry and deliberative process which forms the core of ALD approach. The conflicts included in the study are not solely triggered by climate change but are a result of diverse environmental changes, diverse policy responses to local issues of resource governance, and wider political and economic factors. We analyze experimental practices of ALD implemented in two sites, where our research team facilitated the ALD process, gathering evidence in relation to conflicting institutional issues, all of which was then fed into researcher-mediated and evidence informed deliberations on conflict management. The analysis shows that the ALD process was helpful in rearranging local institutions to accommodate the interests of the conflicting groups and, to some extent, challenge some of the underlying exclusionary provisions of forest and water institutions which have deep social roots in the Nepalese society. We also identify three key limitations of this approach – transaction costs, the need for strong research and facilitative capacity within the research team, and the acceptance of researchers' involvement among the conflicting stakeholders. Finally, we discuss some policy implications of the findings, including potential implications for building climate resilience.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Flood Hazard Research Centre
Item ID: 26023
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Climate Policy on 13/12/2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14693062.2018.1556240.
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Depositing User: Josie Joyce
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2019 12:26
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2019 10:15
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/26023

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