Farmlands, or agricultural landscapes, captures the interest of a number of researchers based at the Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University. On this blog we share information about research findings, activities, events and comments related to our work.

Our interest in farmlands has three roots: farming, landscape and society.
Farming as a practice, including farmers knowledge and labour investments
Landscape as society-nature relations, congealed history, and as space and place
Society as a short form for institutions, gender relations, political economy and scientific relevance

Most Welcome to FarmLandS!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Participatory action research to mitigate conflict over forest use and management in Ethiopia

A recently published paper entitled ‘Do Interventions from Participatory Action Research Improve Livelihood and Reduce Conflicts Over Forest Resources? A Case Study from South Central Ethiopia’ has reported lessons and experiences from a four years participatory action research conducted to mitigate conflict over forest use and management.


Participatory action research was conducted in south central Ethiopia to understand in what ways conflict over forest use and management between the former Arsi Forest and Wildlife Enterprise and the surrounding communities could be managed. Through interviews, focus group discussions, negotiations and series of stakeholder meetings existing scenarios of conflict over forest use and management were assessed, and alternatives interventions were identified and implemented based on the principle of maximizing the goals of local development and forest conservation. A cooperative with three major alternative livelihood activities—cash-credit provision, and poultry and sheep production—was established. It was found that working with communities in collaboration can reduce conflicts over forest management and support local livelihoods. The intervention had reduced ‘illegal’ use of forest resource for income generation and domestic use while within a year the alternative livelihood activities had generated a modest income to 68 % of the individuals involved. The study also demonstrated that working with multiple stakeholders is a challenging and slow process that requires understanding the complex local socioeconomic structure and dynamics. It is concluded that participatory approaches are a better way of bringing about a change in a society where conflicts arise due to resources limitation, and could be avoided by sharing benefits and responsibilities.

Full text available at Small-scale Forestry journal, DOI:

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