5 years ago

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

1.3. BATNA (Best

1.3. BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) 169a Negotiations are a voluntary process. But what if the other person is completely inflexible, breaks the ground rules you agreed to, and only wants his or her own way. In short, what if the other person does not want to negotiate? Similarly, what if the other person is negotiating in good faith, you have excellent communications, and trust each other, but it is simply not possible (in his or her view) to meet even your “bottom line” needs? Under these circumstances, you need an alternative to negotiation. There may be several alternatives. What you really need is the best one. So what would be your best alternative to a negotiated agreement? In the (unfortunate) language of conflict management, this has become known as a BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement). Box 18.1 illustrates some examples of where a BATNA may be appropriate. 18. Negotiations and Conflict Management 129 Box 18.1. Examples of Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) in the Context of Forest Landscape Restoration The loggers simply don’t want to negotiate at all. They are going to go ahead and cut those trees. BATNA—What about going to the newspapers? Let the media know that this biodiversity hotspot is threatened and local people are suffering. The donor is not able to give you another grant to add an extra component to this work. BATNA—Perhaps write a report that helps to bring the donor’s expectations in line with your capacity to deliver. The people in the community feel powerless to enter face-to-face negotiations with the 169a Fisher and Ertel, 1995. government and the large Geneva-based and Washington, DC–based agencies. BATNA—Possibly see if a mediator can be found who would be acceptable to both sides. The negotiations went well and trust is high, but the government was unable to agree involvement of their officials due to government rules. BATNA—Perhaps work with another NGO with relevant expertise that can complement you but has no government restrictions over committing official staff. 1.4. Project and Process Management Any approach to forest landscape restoration requires time and resources to identify, to agree to, and to manage the process. Different agencies have different approaches to project and process management, developed perhaps from commercial approaches or international development models. Clearly, in the world of logical frameworks, multi-stakeholder partnerships, and collaborative management schemes, the management process itself is a subject for negotiation that requires the full range of skills and principles discussed above. Conflicts over one form of management indicate an opportunity to search for other approaches that can helpfully deal with the legal, financial, political, and operational issues that any complex project or programme involves. It follows that successful forest landscape design will be able to identify and engage with different management approaches and use the negotiation process to build ownership while deciding roles and responsibilities. Sometimes one agency or another will desperately seek management control, and the task is to negotiate shared understandings and responsi-

130 S. Jones and N. Dudley bilities. At other times, it is a hard task to identify any agency that feels able to take management responsibility.Again, this is an opportunity to explore why, and to undertake a collective search for a solution that supports stakeholders who are willing to put their names forward. 1.5. Negotiation Health Warning Finally, it is important to note that like other aspects of conflict management, negotiation is a culturally bound process. Different societies, groups, agencies, and organisations all have different cultures and approaches to managing conflict. While much of the literature on negotiations is Western and business-oriented, there needs to be a high degree of cultural sensitivity and contextually located understanding to proceed with negotiations, especially where many different cultures are involved in multistakeholder negotiations. 2. Examples There is very limited experience in applying conflict resolution and negotiation skills to landscape initiatives in forest restoration. We highlight here just a few examples from other chapters in this book that have shown some successful or interesting outcomes through negotiations. • In Vietnam, a three-dimensional paper and cardboard model was used to bring stakeholders together around “their” landscape to identify specific elements within it. The process was aimed at reconciling different views of the landscape and what it could look like in the future. It provided those around the model with the opportunity to express their views on the importance of different elements in the landscape (more information on this example can be found in “Assessing and Addressing Threats in Restoration Programmes”). • In Malaysia, an ongoing negotiation process with oil palm plantation companies is gradually ensuring a change in the companies’ policies related to restoration. Whereas initially the companies converted their entire estates to oil palm, they are now gradually allocating part of their land for natural regeneration and plantation of local species (for more on this example see “Restoring Quality in Existing Native Forest Landscapes”). • In Jordan, negotiation between goat herders and park authorities ensured a reduction in grazing, thus allowing for more natural regeneration (for more on this example see “Restoration of Protected Area Values”). 3. Outline of Tools Learning and applying the tools and skills for successful conflict management cannot come from reading books or attending courses alone, but also involves long periods of trial and error, and observation—“learning by doing.” Many participatory techniques described elsewhere in this book are relevant. Tools and skill sets for conflict management that are particularly relevant include those relating to analysis, capacity building,communications,creative thinking,negotiation, and project and process management. 3.1. Negotiation Process Negotiating involves meeting to discuss ways of reaching a mutual agreement or arrangement. A negotiation is a voluntary process in which each person or group (often called a party) has a position that is not fixed, but that does have its limits. A successful negotiation can create a sense of ownership and commitment to shared solutions and shared follow-up actions. This sense of ownership and commitment makes negotiated solutions often more desirable, for example, than legal solutions, where one party may feel it lost out. In a conflict, some things cannot be negotiated, and some things can. Usually it turns out that many more things can be negotiated than people first thought. This is another reason why negotiated agreements are a valuable way, though not the only way, of trying to manage conflicts in forest landscape restoration. It follows that a first step in negotiation is reaching agreement on what is negotiable. Successful negotiations follow certain important principles (see Box 18.2) and require

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