Natural resource conflict management in local communities of forested watershed areas of Northern Thailand


  • Avorn Opatpatanakrit Faculty of Agriculture, Chiangmai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
  • Attachak Sattayanuruk Faculty of Humanities, Chiangmai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
  • Katesuda Sitthisuntikul Faculty of Economics, Maejo University, Chiang Mai 50290, Thailand


common pool resource management, community based natural resource management, conflict management


This research investigated conflict situations from the use of natural resources, including conflict management and related factors in local communities of forested watersheds in the north of Thailand. Data were derived from document analysis, in-depth interviews, focus groups, and participatory observation. The results indicated that conflict in these areas involves the rights of three opponents: (1) users and users, caused by different requirements of access to water, land and collecting forest products; (2) community leaders and users, who had different performances on the rights to access natural forest resources; and (3) government agencies and users, which expressed tension and disagreement between community livelihoods and land use rights under forest conservation law. The conflict resolution focused on multiple approaches according to the actual situations. However, common pool resource management allowed the sharing of authorized rights of access and management by local institutions and governance in a community and a common forested watershed. In addition, effective conflict management required input from local community leaders and encouragement from government and non-government agencies.


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