Forest conflicts in focus

The location of forest conflicts is a difficult topic. Location can be geographical, but also can refer to the sources of information where the conflict is documented. This paper analyses both locations: on the one hand the geographical patterns and hotspots, and on the other, the focus given by the academic community and the ENGOs to different conflict types. The data is based on a pool of over 300 forest conflicts documented. The full paper can be found at:

MOLA-YUDEGO B, GRITTEN D. 2010. Determining forest conflict hotspots according to academic and environmental groups. Forest Policy and Economics. doi:10.1016/j.forpol.2010.07.004


Conflicts regarding natural resource management are ubiquitous. The present paper aims to present ways to analyse the location of forest conflicts, based on systematic screening and location of cases, and examines the focus of academic research as well as ENGOs regarding forest conflicts. A large sample of 300 identified forest conflicts are located, categorised according to conflict type and analysed using kernel associations. The results revealed a high concentration of forest conflicts (hotspots) in richly ecological regions of South-East Asia, Central Africa and several areas of South America. Additional areas in Central Europe and North America were also identified. Concerning the focus areas, there were important differences in the areas covered by the ENGOs and the academic literature, in terms of location, as well as conflict type. Although more cases are possibly needed to get more solid conclusions, the methods and results of this paper can serve as a basis of further research, in order, for example, to identify common socio-economical factors that can be linked with the conflicts.

Keywords: Kernel analysis; Forest conflict areas and types; ENGOs; Academic research; Geostatistics

It is interesting to see the focus on the analysed bioenergy conflicts. Although the research may not be covering all the forest conflicts involving bioenergy (see the paper for details), it seems that they have been to a certain point neglected by the academic community, especially if compared to the efforts made by ENGOs:
Perhaps that is giving us a clue on where to put the focus in future research...


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