Armed Conflict, Community Forest User Groups, and Natural Resource Management

Scott T. Yabiku, Arizona State University
Abigail York, Arizona State University
Sharon Hall, Arizona State University

The bi-directional relationship between armed conflict and natural resources is complex, shaped by social and ecological mechanisms. While the literature has been successful documenting consequences of armed conflict on wildlife, there has been less research examining the specific causal mechanisms through which armed conflict harms natural environments. We use an institutional analysis and development (IAD) approach to explore the social and ecological factors that drive the relationship between armed conflict and the resilience of resource management. Our setting is 21 community forests and their user groups in the Chitwan Valley of Nepal from 1995 through 2010—a period that spans the beginning, middle, and end of the violent Maoist insurgency. We show that armed conflict weakens community forest conservation programs and financial resources. However, within this broader context, the most vulnerable user groups appeared to be those tasked with overseeing larger community forests and more management activities.

  See paper

Presented in Session 226: Demography of Disasters II