Information flows, decision-making and social acceptability in displacement processes

Watts John Daniel, Vihemäki Heini, Boissière Manuel, Rantala Salla. 2011. Information flows, decision-making and social acceptability in displacement processes. In : Collaborative governance of tropical landscapes. Colfer Carol J. Pierce (ed.), Pfund Jean-Laurent (ed.). CIFOR. Londres : Earthscan Publications, pp. 79-106. (The Earthscan Forest Library) ISBN 978-1-84971-177-7

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Abstract : The displacement of rural people, whether for conservation or for development, demonstrates how policy processes and decision-makers operating beyond the boundaries of a landscape can dramatically affect the lives of its residents. Displacement occurs not only when people are forced to move but also when people are excluded from their previous economic activities (Brockington and Igoe, 2006), such as farming. Displacement can also be a side effect of landscape management, when new protected areas are established or old ones extended. In addition, interventions justified by development goals, such as improved access to infrastructure, condition the operations and choices available to those seeking to improve natural resource management at landscape level. Displacement is essentially a disproportionate exercise of power that overrides local systems, tenure and aspirations in favour of the objectives of those at higher levels of government and sometimes beyond, as in the case of biodiversity conservation projects. Although displacement brings villagers and implementing agencies into contact, there is often little scope for the overarching goals to be modified. The best possible outcome is likely to be a process of negotiation. Information on the potential livelihood and environmental effects, which guides the selection of areas for displacement and the implementation process, should be comprehensive but often is not. Furthermore, ongoing monitoring, assessment and adaptive mechanisms are required to ensure that any negative impacts can be addressed (see Lasgorceix and Kothari, 2009). In the absence of adaptive management, how can the livelihood needs and concerns of the displaced people be met? In this chapter, we present two case studies of displacement, in Laos and Tanzania. The first case explores a village relocation process in Phadeng, in Viengkham District, Luang Prabang Province, Laos. The village was relocated under the dual rhetoric of improving both conservation and development by moving the village farther away from the Nam-Et Phou Louy National Protected Area and closer to services. The second case study describes conservation- related displacement in the East Usambara Mountains of Tanzania, where a large tract of land previously used for farming was appropriated in the establishment of the Derema Corridor. In both cases, efforts were made to mitigate negative effects by improving flow of information, anticipating the outcomes for the affected people and, to varying degrees, involving them in related planning and decision-making. The establishment of the Derema Corridor was at least outwardly participatory, in the sense that local people were consulted, and did not involve resettlement. But from the outset, the process in Phadeng was not participatory, and it included resettlement. In Derema, the owners of the farms were compensated for their lost access to land, whereas in Phadeng, no compensation was paid. In the study of Derema, the researchers' role was to document and analyze an ongoing process; in Phadeng, the researchers became actively involved in facilitating communication between parties. The cases are also described at different stages of the displacement process: the Derema case describes a nine-year process, whereas the Phadeng case is focused on the initial phase. By combining and comparing the approaches and experiences from the two cases, we explore a broader set of mechanisms and pathways for mitigating negative social effects and communicating livelihood information to decision-makers. Here we consider the stages of the displacement process and the conditions under which these mechanisms can improve social acceptability and mitigate harm. To begin with, we offer a short conceptualization of conservation- and development-related human displacement. Then we contextualize the two cases and give an account of each displacement process. In so doing, we explore the disparities between the goals and expecta

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Émigration, Population humaine, Conservation des ressources, Politique de développement

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : République démocratique populaire lao, République-Unie de Tanzanie

Classification Agris : E51 - Rural population
E14 - Development economics and policies
P01 - Nature conservation and land resources

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Watts John Daniel, CIFOR (IDN)
  • Vihemäki Heini
  • Boissière Manuel, CIRAD-ES-UPR BSef (IDN) ORCID: 0000-0002-2552-7664
  • Rantala Salla, ICRAF (KEN)

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