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Annex H - Definitions

This annex presents different interpretations or definitions used by various conferees for terms and expressions commonly used in conflict management and community forestry. This annex is not a glossary. This collection of interpretations provides the reader with an opportunity to compare definitions. It is a valuable starting point for additional discussions to better understand conflict management by clearly defining the different terms and expressions.

ADJUDICATION: The solution to a particular conflict as determined by a judge or administrative hearing officer with the authority to rule on the issue in dispute .... the judgements (generally) are rendered according to objective standards, rules or laws (Anderson et al., 1996).

ALTERNATIVE CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Parallel process, or paralegal process, that laws or representatives of laws are trying to institutionalize (Orellana, 25 January 1996).

ARBITRATION: A process that involves the submission of a dispute to an arbitrator (anyone mutually agreeable to the parties), who renders a (binding or advisory) decision after hearing arguments and reviewing evidence (Anderson et al., 1996).

COLLABORATIVE PLANNING: A process in which parties agree to work together in anticipation of a conflict, and work collaboratively to plan and manage ways to avoid the conflict (Anderson et al., 1996).

COMMUNITY: In Kenya, a community as defined by the politicians always refers to their tribe, never to ordinary people living together (Walubengo, 9 February 1996).

COMMUNITY: Composed of people who share a common place but do not have to speak the same language (Kline, 9 February 1996).

COMMUNITY-BASED RESOURCE MANAGEMENT: Initiatives that are primarily controlled and legitimated from within the community (Cabarle and Lynch, 1996).

CONCILIATION: An attempt by a neutral third party to communicate separately with disputing parties, for the purpose of reducing tensions and agreeing on a process for resolving a dispute (Anderson et al., 1996).

CONFLICT ANALYSIS: The classification one uses, and indeed the analytical framework one uses thereafter, to look at conflicts on a case by case basis, depending on what one's own purpose is (Skutsch, 18 February 1996).

Possible purposes: to understand better what a particular, local dispute is about; to untangle the complicated strands of a conflict; to make a rational reconstruction of why certain decisions were made. Under these circumstances, then, an actor-oriented approach of some kind is highly suitable. An actor-oriented study requires a detailed case history at a local level. However, it is not necessarily setting out to resolve the conflict. The object of the exercise could be simply to study local power systems or to draw general conclusions about the utility of some particular policy or intervention. It could also be used either as a basis for a conflict resolution procedure, or for the purposes of advocacy; to work at the policy level (whether simply for the purpose of analysis, or to actually try to manage conflict better, e.g., through a general policy of authority decentralization over natural resources) one might do better to use a resource- or a stake-oriented approach.

CONFLICT ANTICIPATION: The identification of disputes at their early stages of development, targeting and educating potential interest groups, and attempting to develop cooperative responses to the future problem, thus avoiding or lowering the destructive effects of conflict (Anderson et al., 1996).

CONFLICT MANAGEMENT: A larger umbrella that may certainly include conflict resolution as one element, but also includes (i) cases in which conflicts are used by the internal players to attain further ends, for example shopping for different support forums (how people use conflict) - thus process is undirected by outsiders; (ii) cases where conflict is drummed up, usually by well meaning outsiders, to bring attention to hidden conflicts and social injustices (in this case in relation to forest matters); and (iii) the extension of this is the advocacy approach, in which the outsider fully takes the side of the underdog. A possible conflict management strategy at this level might work through (iv) strengthening local traditional, indigenous management systems and legitimizing them, i.e., changing the local structure of decision-making, making clear who has authority over what. Conflict management also includes managing at the larger scale of things, through appropriate policy-making and the larger political process. Hence, all planning is an attempt at proactive conflict management, though it often does not succeed (Skutsch, 18 February 1996).

CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Implies a process, usually led or stimulated by a professional outsider who takes a neutral position on the conflict, but whose aim is to arbitrate or negotiate (or mediate) a settlement on the grounds that continued conflict is no good for anyone. In forestry, it could concern disputes within a village, or between villages or communities, or between a village and an outside timber concern, over forests or forest products; or within community forestry intervention, between various interest groups with conflicting goals and wishes. The ultimate aim of conflict resolution in these cases may really be to save the environment (Skutsch, 18 February 1996).

CONSENSUS BUILDING: A process leading to an agreement (or synthesis) that is reached by identifying the interests of all concerned parties and then building an integrative solution (Anderson et al., 1996).

DECENTRALIZATION: A term that, in English, can refer to any of five different types of power transfer: devolution, deconcentration, delegation, deregulation and privatization. In French, by contrast, decentralization corresponds to the English devolution, that is, a definitive transfer of decision-making and executive powers from a higher authority to a lower authority (e.g., from the national government to communities); this transfer may be partial or total (Dubois, 16 February 1996).

DECONCENTRATION: A form of decentralization involving a non-definitive transfer of decision-making and executive powers within the administrative or technical structure (e.g., from the Ministry of Interior to a governorship or from the national directorate of a service to the regional directorate) (Dubois, 16 February 1996).

DELEGATION: A form of decentralization involving a non-definitive transfer of authority from an administrative service to a public or semi-public company, for example (Dubois, 16 February 1996).

DEREGULATION: A form of decentralization whereby a sector of activity previously regulated by a public authority ceases to be subject to such regulation (Dubois, 16 February 1996).

DEVOLUTION: A form of decentralization involving a transfer of power from a larger to a smaller jurisdiction; this transfer may be total or partial (e.g., transfer to local communities of the powers needed to manage the renewable resources on their village lands) (Dubois, 16 February 1996).

INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE: IK is community-based knowledge that every culture (a particular society or ethnic group) has evolved over many generations in a particular environment. It contains everything that pertains to life in a defined environment or locality. It is local science, economy, law and cosmology. The body of IK is dynamic, evolving through indigenous innovation, fresh insight and external stimuli. The dynamic nature of these local-level knowledge systems reflects the capacity of every community to adapt to changing circumstances through the process of identifying problems and seeking solutions to them (Davenport, 25 March 1996).

INSTITUTIONS: A complex set of norms and behaviours that persists over time by serving some socially-valued purpose (Dubois, 16 February 1996).

LATENT/HIDDEN CONFLICT: Is a conflict that has arisen but has not manifested itself. This term is distinct from potential conflicts, where the conflict has not yet occurred.

MEDIATION: The use of a neutral third party in a negotiation process, where a mediator assists those in a conflict situation in reaching their own agreement, but has no power to direct the parties or attempt to resolve the dispute (Anderson et al., 1996).

METHOD: Method could be understood as an abstract level of analysis that permits us to understand the complexity from a wider perspective where reality is not seen in its micro parts. This abstract dimension gives us a general view where facts are invisible, but comprehensible. A method could convert itself into tools or into a systematic body of tools (Orellana, 20 March 1996).

NEGOTIATION: A voluntary process in which parties meet face-to-face to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of a conflict (Anderson et al., 1996).

ORGANIZATION: Structure of recognized and accepted roles (Dubois, 16 February 1996).

OUTSIDER: Considered to be someone who is not associated with the conflict. This term was also used to refer to external development agents, project workers, foresters and NGO representatives.

PARALEGAL PROCESS: Process characterizes a way of litigating, which does not imply that a judge or representative of the formal staff of the legal system is involved. In cases where lawyers or judges are present, they do not represent their formal role. That is their decision is not legal (Orellana, 25 January, 1996).

PRIVATIZATION: A form of decentralization involving the transfer of ownership of companies from the state to private operators (Dubois, 16 February 1996).

PROCESS: A process resumes an evolution where different factors take place and produce different circumstances. A process is a conglomerate of political, ideological, cultural, spatial, economic and social factors. Elements of the process are separable only analytically in terms of power, values, perceptions and interests (Orellana, 20 March 1996).

STAKE: A value or benefit that can be categorized as political, ecological, economic or social (Traore and Lo, 1996).

STAKEHOLDER: Anyone who has the potential to have an impact on the resource or has interest in it or is affected by it.

THIRD PARTY: A facilitator or mediator. A third party can be a respected member from within or outside the community who is trusted by the parties in conflict. A third party has to be flawlessly neutral (Lo and Traore, 14 February 1996). In Latin America a third party has to be part of the community if he/she is to be effective (Russell, 7 March 1996).

TOOLS: A tool can help to gather information like an instrument for putting elements into a big box. The tool does not help us select information, this is what a method helps us to do. A tool, as an instrument, could serve for different methods (Orellana, 20 March 1996).

WIN-WIN: When parties in dispute agree to a resolution that has mutual gains.

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