In-country training on collaboratively managing conflict for enhanced national forest programmes

Background:
This training course has been developed as part of a series of training modules on specific issues designed to enhance the implementation of NFP principles within the frame of the "NFP for All" initiative. "NFP for All" is a joint initiative by FAO and the National Forest Programme Facility who are jointly working to build country capacity for the implementation of NFP in accordance with NFP principles.

Relevance and Context:
Achieving sustainable forest management and poverty alleviation are enormous tasks which will only be achieved in a concerted effort by many actors. National forest programs therefore rightly call for a cross-sectoral and decentralised approach to address forest issues in a wider policy context. However, actors as different as government agencies in-and outside the forest administration, civil society, forest users and the private sector tend to have multiple and often divergent interests on forest management and conservation and they also differ in terms of power to influence decisions. Emerging tensions and conflicts are a normal part of forest policy making and not necessarily negative.

How people handle disagreements, conflicts and disputes is what truly matters. Managing and resolving disputes in a participatory and consensual manner can strengthen national forest programs. But ignored or unjustly handled conflicts always have the potential of becoming intractable, putting national forest programme (nfp) processes at risk and often results in increased levels of deforestation and poverty. Management and resolution of disputes in a participatory and consensual manner is therefore an increasingly important task for all those who are supporting or being involved in nfp processes.

This training course will provide participants with an understanding of the basic principles, skills and techniques used to overcome difficult situations and to find solutions that a broad spectrum of people can support. Participants will increase their knowledge and skills in analyzing complex conflict situations, develop strategies to manage conflict and, learn from a variety of conflict management techniques in order to negotiate and build agreements.

Objectives:
The overall objective of the training course is to expand and strengthen the capacity of nfp stakeholders to resolve differences and build consensus agreements.

More specifically the course aims to:

  • Increase participants' understanding and knowledge about conflicts, why they arise in a nfp context and how they can be effectively prevented;
  • Provide skills, tools and processes for analyzing conflict situations in nfps;
  • Inform about different procedures for resolving disputes and their inherent strengths and weaknesses so that participants are able to make informed decisions;Explore principles and requirements for meaningful consultation with multiple stakeholders and the tools and techniques that can be used for this purpose, thereby leading to better policy processes and outcomes;
  • Enhance participants' understanding of the principles and process of consensual negotiation and its scope of application;
  • Increase participants' understanding of the role of a third party (facilitator / mediator) and how a facilitator / mediator can assist consensual negotiations;
  • Improve participants' current skills in joint decision-making and joint problem-solving through practise; and
  • Apply the analytical concepts and tools presented in the course to particular problems that participants bring with them to the course. 

Who Should Attend:
The course is useful to individuals who are leading, facilitating or participating in nfps, i.e. nfp coordinators and facilitators and stakeholder representatives from government agencies in-and outside the forest administration, civil society, private sector and decision or policy –makers - actively involved with the nfp process. 

Full training concept document 

last updated:  Monday, May 21, 2012