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 “The development process generates unavoidable conflicts as new actors emerge, resources and priorities change, and social divisions phase out or are further deepened. Many of these conflicts, if properly managed, may become […] signs of positive social changes and lead to more stable and inclusive societies”. Ban Ki-Moon United Nations Secretary General

This Journey was developed in alliance with the Spain-UNDP Trust Fund ‘Towards a comprehensive and inclusive development in Latin America and the Caribbean�. The preparation and publishing of the present document has been achieved with the financial support of the Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund. This document was prepared by Ana Cabria Mellace, Consultant of the Democratic Dialogue Regional Project. March 2009. Also available in Spanish version.



Contents 1. Introduction


2. Justification


3. Socio-environmental conflict


4. Main learning shared


4.1. The conflict transformation frame and the dialogic approach


4.2. The process 4.2.1. Assessment 4.2.2. Design of dialogic processes

6 6 7

4.3. The people 4.3.1. Actors 4.3.2. Third parties: world linkers 4.3.3. Institutional third parties

8 9 12 13

5. Conclusion


6. References





1. Introduction This document Intends to present important lessons learned identified by a group of practitioners, resource persons with expertise on the theme, and United Nations Development Programme officers around their experiences in socio-environmental conflicts in Latin America and the Caribbean, towards encouraging and favoring new inquiries among practitioners and institutions active in the theme. A group of twenty five people with broad experience in the region gathered around the Learning Journey “The dialogic approach in the treatment of socio-environmental conflicts” –developed on September 11-13, 2008, in Antigua, Guatemala– by invitation of the Democratic Dialogue Project of Project of UNDP/RBLAC. Financial assistance for the development of this journey was provided by the Spain-UNDP Trust Fund ‘Towards a comprehensive and inclusive development in Latin America and the Caribbean’, Marc-André Franche and it was facilitated by Graciela Tapia and Ana Cabria Programme Advisor from the DDRP team. Its main objective was to share PNUD-DRALC experiences in dialogic practices attained in interventions related to socio-environmental conflicts, reflect on the challenges encountered and identify lessons learned that could enrich future processes. Reflections revolved around five cases on different themes or conflicts originating in four countries: one referred to the socio-environmental impacts of a seismic prospecting project in Guarani community territories and the other to land and hydrocarbon resources, both in Bolivia; one hydroelectric initiative in communities affected by the internal armed conflict in Guatemala; a program on dialogue and building of agreements on climate change and security at the legislative level in México, and the initiative to create a dialogue on available knowledge on fire management in National Park Canaima,Venezuela.1 “The Democratic Dialogue Regional Project intends to promote and facilitate learning processes for action; in other works, to ensure that these learning processes have a direct impact on the actions of practitioners in their contexts and their countries through, among others, our country offices”.

This document has systematized these lessons towards their broad dissemination, as most participants2 feel they are common to their colleagues in other cases and other countries in the region. We wish to thank all team members for their contribution in revising this work.3 1 Please request further information about each case to: Democratic Dialogue Regional Project 2 Hereinafter, we shall refer to practitioners by their names when referring to what they have learned. 3 Group responsible for revising the contents and the editorial: Graciela Tapia, Miguel Pellerano, Juliana Robledo, Iokiñe Rodríguez and Anaí Linares. The aide mémoire was prepared by Anaí Linares and Samara Pellecer.


In the area of dialogue and the all-encompassing conflict management method, significant efforts are developed to consolidate concept frames, as well as processes and methodologies that structure and facilitate practice. In this sense, considerable progress is observed in the specific context of socio-environmental conflicts in the region.4 The value of this document rests, therefore, on its contribution to the learning trend already existing in this area.

2. Justification Conflicts linked to people’s relationship with their environment have experienced considerable growth in recent decades. Multiple factors associated with the dominant development model influence this phenomenon directly or indirectly: intensive exploitation, irrational consumption, unequal land access, population growth, unfair income distribution, shortage or absence of adequate public policies, among others. Recent studies and investigations5 yield a common conclusion: these conflicts will grow progressively violent, as the above-mentioned factors intensify and natural resources become increasingly scarce or collapse. The Human Development Report 2007-2008 Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World presents a convincing diagnosis on the impact of natural and environmental resources deterioration on our planet in the foreseeable future. Climate change is defined as an inescapable reminder of our interdependence and the need for immediate actions to mitigate its effects and transform our relationship with the environment. “Climate change will compound the propensity for violent conflict, which in turn will leave communities poorer, less resilient and less able to cope with the consequences of climate change”, indicates the report A climate of conflict, presented by the peacebuilding organization International Alert (2007). “There are 46 countries – home to 2.7 billion

Interview Challenge in the face of natural resources related conflicts

Antonio Bernales The logic of most of our countries remains to be a logic of capital accumulation to foster development, based on the increase in the rate of natural resources exploitation. And today, we find out that even though there are new practices and new forms to address the relation man-nature from the technological point of view -that in some way allows to mitigate impacts that used to remain unattended before-, this hasn’t shown the same progress in the social and cultural topics.There is still a long way to go in order to establish a dialogue that enables a legitimate respect to the rights and the incorporation of people, which depends each day more on resources that may be critical and that, even if they are of national property, they need to have a previous social agreement that allows their development. Link to audio at website

4 Regional Forums on the Transformation of Socio-environmental Conflicts and the Conflict and Collaboration Program from the University for Peace help illustrate this statement. Links to these and other initiatives are found at the end of the document. 5 To illustrate the above, we quote some sources from: Global Witness, FAO report. We provide links to these and other initiatives at the end of the document.



“… there is a global context where some specific products are increasingly in demand: food, energy … minerals, and demands in terms of water, that will continue to emerge … more and more in the future. In the light of this scenario, I believe that the trend will unfortunately be towards intensified and increased socio-environmental conflicts, and … we will face the possibility of conflicts escalating to violent confrontations. Therefore, to address the issue of socio-environmental conflicts is more important than ever.

people – in which the effects of climate change interacting with economic, social and political problems will create a high risk of violent conflict. There is a second group of 56 countries where the interaction of climate change and other factors creates a high risk of political instability. These 56 countries are home to 1.2 billion people”. Despite the foregoing alarming scenario, we must focus on the constructive potential of the crisis and the conflicts. These could offer the opportunity to promote transformation processes towards the design of truly sustainable and human development models in order to increase the levels of justice and equity in social interaction and structures. This would be possible only as those conflicts are properly addressed.

Miguel Pellerano

Conflicts are expressions of change and, as such, are dynamic and have an energy of their own that may be reflected on negative or positive consequences. The way in which this energy is channeled will depend on the actors’ decisions with respect to the conflict and the particular elements linked to it. It is therefore required to further analyze and investigate these themes and strengthen practitioners’ capacity to collaborate in the constructive treatment of socioenvironmental conflicts in order to respond more effectively to the growing need for creating dialogue and concerted action spaces and developing the skills of all actors involved.

Socio-environmental conflict. Considering these perspectives, we could say that a socio-environmental conflict occurs when two or more actors do not agree on the distribution of certain material or symbolic elements linked to control, use and access of natural and environmental resources, or when the nature or use of these elements has different meanings for different groups of people.

3. Socio-environmental conflict The practitioners identified some basic elements that define conflict, particularly socio-environmental conflict, from diverse perspectives: • Transformation. Conflict (1) is the energy created when individuals or interdependent groups seek to satisfy interests or objectives perceived as incompatible.


• Power. Conflict (2) occurs when two or more actors do not agree on the distribution of material or symbolic resources. • Culture. Conflict (3) is a social construction ensuing from different meanings and interpretations that the people involved attach to actions and events.

4. Main learning shared When we reflect on the experience, we draw from a pre-existing wealth of knowledge that may be obtained through practice or theoretical inputs that sustain it.The following general ideas reproduce the conceptual elements that practitioners have contributed to reflect on what they have learned. 4.1 The conflict transformation frame and the dialogic approach Interview The conflict transformation frame is proposed as an all encompassing frame to address change processes linked to socio-environmental issues, and the dialogic approach as a code for actions that may characterize multiple forms of addressing conflicts, not only for those formally designated as dialogues (Pruitt and Thomas, 2007). Conflict transformation. Conflict transformation is something more than a specific group of techniques. It is a concept frame that allows for considering the complexity of conflicts from a comprehensive perspective, as it proposes a time frame and multiple dimensions to analyze conflict and design strategies to achieve the change sought. From this perspective, conflicts or problematic situations will be analyzed through multiple lenses that allow for appraising the immediate situation, the history and underlying relational patterns, as well as the horizon of the envisaged future. This perspective further identifies the need to consider and favor changes at different levels where conflicts surface and generate impact: at the personal, relational, cultural, and structural level.


A long-term approach

Miguel Pellerano It also seems to me that it is key to be aware that conflicts are usually medium and long-term processes; usually, they are not short-term.We must avoid the following practice that has become traditional: trying to address conflicts through projects; we must avoid this projectism. The timeframe of a project hardly matches the times, rhythms, needs and deadlines of real conflicts. In this sense, if we gladly find that a project can timely bring tools closer, great and welcome! But we must address conflicts with a longer-term vision. Link to audio at website


Finally, this frame proposes the design of comprehensive proposals that not only address the current crisis but also include a long-term perspective, incorporating a systemic vision. The dialogic approach. As mentioned in the Democratic Dialogue Handbook (idem, 2007), we may distinguish between the dialogue process, as a distinct type of approach for themes or conflicts, and the dialogic approach, to which we refer above as a behavior code and a quality of interaction that may be common to the way of getting involved in different processes, whether these can be characterized or not as a dialogue process. These processes would be dialogic as long as they allow, e.g. for “creating environments in which participants … can feel included, empowered and ‘safe’ enough to be transparent in their own communication, open to understanding what others have to say, and able to take a long-term view of the issues before them”. (idem, 2007) In addressing socio-environmental conflicts, transformation processes may require different work strategies at different stages. In some cases, these will focus on visualizing the conflict, in others on achieving a balance of power among actors, and yet in others on the development of dialogue processes, consensus building or decision making, among various possible options. Therefore, the dialogic approach could be articulated as a common code of values and principles capable of differentiating this type of strategies from others less constructive or dialogic.

The dialogic approach In order to contribute some concept elements to the dialogic approach proposal, we share the findings and conceptual elaboration of the Democratic Dialogue Handbook (idem): “… The concept of the dialogic approach simply provides language for describing this particular quality of interaction, making it possible to recognize the role it can play and to adopt it intentionally whether or not the context is a formal dialogue process”.

Guiding principles • • • • •

Inclusiveness Empowerment Learning Humanity Long-term perspective

Objectives • Engage all parts of the system • Create conditions for change on important issues • Foster learning; facilitate deeper understanding • Create the sense of confidence that openness requires • Foster the commitment to achieve sustainable change

Qualities • • • • • • •

Respect Transparency Openness Empathy Authenticity Patience Flexibility

Behaviors • • • •

Ask in order to learn Share what you know Listen with empathy Meditate on what you are listening to explore underlying assumptions—your own and others • Recognize emotions, as well as ideas and opinions • Adjust the direction in order for it to reflect new knowledge or understanding


Practitioners highlight the need to promote institutionalization of the dialogic approach not only to address conflicts but also for the wider range of development processes and the strengthening of democratic governance. 4.2 The process The core point for all practitioners working in socio-environmental conflicts is the need to share a concept and methodological frame to address conflict, particularly the design of processes linked to natural resources, placing emphasis on the cultural aspect that qualifies these conflicts. Practitioners further identify the importance of incorporating the social, environmental and economic perspectives that constitute these conflicts into all instances of dialogic processes and into their work tools. With respect to the phases of a constructive transformation process, practitioners have identified lessons learned at some levels in particular, which does not exhaust the total route of these processes. Links of interest: process design 4.2.1 Assessment Emphasis was made on assessment or preliminary evaluation, as a key phase allowing for a deep understanding of the conflict, the actors and the context in order to ascertain the existence of basic conditions required to design a dialogue process. At this stage, it is essential to elaborate a situation analysis that incorporates socio-technical elements and has the methodological resources and equipment required to make a solid diagnosis on the substantive issue. Understanding the evolution of conflicts will allow for choosing better strategies towards sustainable peace. Links of interest: Conflict analysis

Assessment “The exploration itself is an intervention. The people one chooses to talk to, the kinds of questions one asks and the expectations one raises just by talking about the possibility of dialogue—all of these exploratory activities will have some impact on the situation, whether or not a decision is reached to proceed with a dialogue process. Recognizing this at the outset, practitioners can be aware and intentional about conducting an assessment in ways that foster positive changes”. 

Basic coditions (Pruitt and Thomas, 2007)

Practitioners stress the importance of assessing whether the conditions required for proposing dialogic processes are in place and, if this should be the case, identify the most



“one of the greatest challenges for me, both as an investigator and a practitioner of transformation processes, is to understand conflict. I always speak of conflict as something that is alive, as something having its own dynamics, its own times”. Iokiñe Rodríguez

appropriate type of process according to the context. In some situations, the conditions may not be mature enough to propose dialogue processes but certainly allow for designing other initiatives to address existing conflicts.

• Strategic entry points. These conditions are not static requirements but rather a set of dynamic variables that may even be promoted or generated. Particularly identified is the development of local capacities as a strategic entry point in generating conditions for dialogic processes. In other contexts, common needs could allow for identifying community development projects as a route towards the constructive transformation of socio-environmental conflicts.

• Political context. Support and resistance forces. The political context carries great weight in the assessment of conditions for the design of these initiatives. Specifically, practitioners identified the weighty role of governments’ support/ resistance in considering whether or not the necessary conditions are in place. In some countries, depending on the juncture, dialogic processes will be favored at the onset of the administration and weakened in the context of elections while exactly the opposite will happen in other countries. Adequate assessment of the impact that government support or resistance forces might have on a proposed process could be vital for success. • Motivations. To identify the deep motivations of actors that promote dialogic initiatives will also be a decisive factor. In the particular case of governments, practitioners warn about the importance of ensuring that participation be oriented to more sustainable objectives than just the validation of predetermined political agendas. 4.2.2 Design of dialogic processes With the preliminary assessment and once it has been defined that conditions are in place and the type of process to be developed identified, it is necessary to move forward in the design phase. The main aspects identified by practitioners in this phase are: • Co-designing. The importance of joint design is confirmed and implies, on one side, the need to work in multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary teams to which we refer further on and, on the other, the basic condition that designs be made in permanent interaction with all parties involved in the process. The foregoing not


only promotes the implementation of processes adjusted to the needs of their protagonists but also the vital sense of ownership among all of them, which is the fundamental element towards increasing the proposal’s probabilities for success. Now, promoting ownership of the process is a continuous task not exempt of obstacles. It might encounter resistance from some actors that should have been participants. Practitioners recommend, therefore, the inclusion of mechanisms in the design in order to respond to possible objections from a community or sector. • Incorporation of uncertainty in the design. The design phase will allow for defining the route to be travelled in the dialogic process, where diverse factors linked to the theme, actors and type of process to be developed will be considered. Nevertheless, practitioners reflect upon the need to develop processes that are sufficiently flexible to allow for considering uncertainty – understood as lack of awareness about a future condition—basically linked to the context where the conflict occurs and that will remain throughout the span of the whole process. • Sustainability in the implementation. Moving forward, design should contemplate sustainability in the implementation of the process, especially as this is anchored in institutional spaces that require political commitment, which could be the case in legislative dialogue processes or those convened by the Executive Branch. • Evaluation-intangibles. Finally, also as part of the design of the monitoring and evaluation phases, practitioners stress the need to incorporate criteria, indicators and methodologies that allow for evaluating the intangible impacts of these processes and defining change indicators to be shared as valid by the same actors of the process.

Evaluation design “…the design of the evaluation must allow for intended and unintended outcomes to be reflected and analyzed. The process must be sufficiently open and responsive to new consequences to be able to grasp these intended and unintended outcomes, being positive or negative. This implies that the indicators of progress/change/impact may be modified or added during and after the process took place”. (PNUD-TCC, 2007)

Links of interest: Monitoring and evaluation 4.3 The people Described below are some of the most important lessons learned, identified around the people that give life to these processes, as well as third parties that help carry them through and actors involved throughout their development.



4.3.1. Actors At this level, practitioners identified key points for reflection around the actors, the dynamic power relations that shape them, the growing importance of cosmovisions of involved communities, and the confirmation, once again, of the key role that strategic actors play in the evolution of a conflict. We have also included a special segment with some specific reflections on the role of the State and the massive media. • Power. Although the influence of power in the development and evolution of conflicts was not analyzed in depth, practitioners underscored the need to take this element into account.They stressed the dynamic nature of power and the way it changes depending on the context. Power in relationships among actors could be present as an element of equilibrium in the relative position of some actors in the dialogic space, as well as a constraining element in the process. In the latter case, the challenge surfaces when actors or power groups that do not wish or cannot participate in the dialogic process for its transformation influence on the definition and management of the conflict. Mayan Cosmovision “…When we observe nature’s movement, then we have learned to move with nature, despite conditions imposed upon us or those in which we find ourselves …. Why are we still alive after so many centuries? Because we coexist with nature and dialogue with nature, we speak with the water, the mountains and the hills. Many people may say: the mountains and the lakes do not speak, well, they do. The lakes may tell each other: people do not speak; well, we do speak. To learn those different languages is the task we have. In order to dialogue, we need to listen and recognise the different languages,… there is no dialogue if we fail to learn that...” Daniel Domingo

To strengthen sectors that may participate in the dialogic process, practitioners have identified on some occasions the need to open reflection processes within each of the groups involved in order to strengthen people or social collectives’ self-reference and identity and allow them to identify their objectives and attain a stronger position in the overall process. • Cosmovision. We are going through a time characterized by visibilization, rebirth or recovery of ancestral traditions in the relationship of human beings with their environment, and also through a time of contrasts between different cosmovisions, old and modern, of native peoples, both rural and urban. That is why, reference to cosmovisions, as a set of beliefs and principles that offer a particular view of the world, is considered by practitioners as a crosscutting element in all processes of constructive transformation of socio-environmental conflicts. In working with different cosmovisions, it is required to let differences surface and identify possible bridges for their


articulation. In equal manner, the shades within the same cosmovision are bound to emerge. It should not be taken for granted that a community united by common traditions and ancestral practices maintains a homogeneous style of relation with the environment, as there may be endogenous and exogenous elements that modify this relationship. For instance, while a peasant may be imbued with the cosmovision upholding the harmony of human beings with nature, he/she also has a legitimate interest in access to land. This diversity of interests can complicate his/her relationship with other actors more complex, i.e. environmentalists and landholders. The foregoing evinces the need to generate processes that seriously consider the idiosyncrasy of actors, especially those from communities and indigenous groups. Their cosmovisions should be understood in order to articulate processes that reflect their needs, interests and values, their times and scales, but above all the way in which they understand the socio-environmental issue. • Strategic actors. The experiences shared by the participants confirm the importance of identifying, nurturing and protecting strategic actors opting for these dialogic processes. Following Lederach’s proposal (2007), these actors should have vertical and horizontal capacities. Vertical capacity refers to people and groups capable of having and sustaining connections with those that are visible and in higher echelons –political leaders, officials, leaders, etc. that may be advancing conversations or formal or official negotiations – and the many that form part of the communities (people, groups, organizations carrying through their own initiatives to face conflicts). Horizontal capacity implies their aptitude to create and sustain relationships with actors on both sides of polarization and yet not be considered traitors by anyone. These strategic actors are key in dialogic processes, as they act as catalyzers in the development of confidence in the process and legitimacy of third parties. They furthermore allow for building solid bridges between both sides of the conflict and consolidating alliances and articulations with political actors, which will favor the sustainability and impact of processes. Links of interest Dialogic processes • Social media. In any conflict transformation process, socio-environmental in particular, the media are key actors who can favor processes through dissemination, ignore them, or become forces that oppose dialogic initiatives. Without going through an in-depth analysis of the theme, practitioners make a distinction between the role of the media and the role of the reporter or



Interview The role of social media

communicator, which may be incorporated in the transformation process as a participant and act as citizen and also as communicator in the process.

in the conflicts

Miguel Pellerano I would like to highlight the role of the media, because it constitutes an element of growing magnitude and strength within the practice and work on conflict transformation. It is important to reflect on how the internal mechanics of the media are incorporated, analyzed and understood, and how the media can play very different roles in a conflict; they can foster it and be a positive influence for unblocking a conflict or making it visible, but they can also complicate the conflict. I think that all of us committed to conflict transformation through our work must make sure we understand better the way the media function and how we relate to them. Link to audio at website

The State’s Role “[It is important to differentiate governmental actors from state institutions (laws, norms, policies, etc.). Actors come and go, they are concerned with the short term. Therefore, the agenda of dialogue should include institutional strengthening”. Practitioner

Strategy for establishing relationships with the media. The parties should anticipate and carefully develop a form of interacting with the media. It is crucial to bear in mind the importance of building a relationship of trust with communicators and assessing the risks of their inclusion but much more the consequences of their exclusion from the processes. We affirm the need to establish a relationship with the media in order to reflect the values and principles of the dialogic process and ensure respect for these values. • State. The State’s function as public actor in conflict transformation processes is undoubtedly a key role. Its proactive side may work in favor of constructive change processes while its weakness, on the contrary, favors the emergency of local conflicts. Practitioners clearly underscore that, as in the case of all other actors, the State and government actors do not constitute a homogenous sector and are represented by a diversity of behaviors and rationales. That said, it also emerges from experience that, in the face of crisis they often adopt short-term strategies or fail to accompany transformation processes. Strengthening the State. Practitioners have identified strengthening of the democratic state through dialogue as a challenge aimed at reducing the possibilities of crisis and increasing the capacity to manage conflict. In their opinion, a strengthened state also acts as a “leveler of the playing field”. Institutional strengthening for the constructive treatment of conflicts would, in a virtuous circle, promote institutionalization of dialogic processes for social change, which in turn ensures increased sustainability of the processes.


Finally, practitioners stress that these transformation processes are broad in range and impact the whole social structure. Therefore, they include and in some way transcend the State. 4.3.2. Third parties: world links “It is good to lay bridges but also to reduce abysses”.

In reflecting on their own role in transformation processes, practitioners focused on what they have learned about crucial themes that cut across practice: personal transformation, team work, legitimacy, roles, among others. The main idea cutting across these reflections is that of the practitioner as a servant in the process of constructive transformation of socio-environmental conflicts, a world linker. • Personal transformation. Practitioner must be willing to undergo internal transformation and personal growth that will allow him/her to be alert to the complexity of the conflict, the pace, scale, and understanding of times and cosmovisions. • Team work. The need to work with a team composed of people endowed with multiple disciplines and specialties is once again confirmed. The idea of a star leader is not an option even in formal negotiations or facilitations; it is required to form teams and work networks, dialogic coalitions. This allows for taking on different roles, as required, over the course of the process. • The role in the process. The key question to ask in defining the role is: What does this process need from me? The answer will depend on the conflict and the context. In some cases, the answer may be oriented to lower the practitioners’ profile and strengthen the role of strategic actors, as mentioned above. Once the role that each must play in the process has been identified, practitioners recommend not to mix or play several roles at once, as this weakens the process and could place in jeopardy the legitimacy of the team or the person before the actors.


Interview Capacity to reflect and change

Iokiñe Rodríguez For me, the most important thing is to be open to a constant critical reflection at a personal level about our own practice.To be open and remain sensitive to the timeframe of other people, to the dynamics of other people. One’s agenda is just another agenda among other many agendas. Above all, one must be willing, as a person involved in this type of processes, to look to the outside but looking also inside.To see how well we are doing what we intend to do.To be willing to reflect, change and grow as a person that ultimately is pretending to interfere in the life of other persons. Link to audio at website


“…the fundamental point of departure is to recognise who I am and, on that basis, I discover who other human beings are and, at the end of a long journey, I will see that what is far beyond is also me”. Daniel Domingo

Interview UNDP vision of development and the environment

Daniel Tomasini UNDP, as it name indicates, is strongly committed to human development. The environment is a necessary part of human development.Then, in that process of working with societies and manage to solve inequity problems, to solve injustice problems, to promote a significant change in the wealth distribution and fight against poverty models, the environment appears also as a value, as a need of each part of society.There, UNDP has a very significant role because we cannot talk about real development is we are not considering the environment as a key element; neither can we talk about the environment if we are not sure that we are contributing to the development of society and, mainly, of the poorest. Link to audio at website

• The balancer: Practitioners have drawn attention to the particular profile of a third party that plays a key role in conflict transformation processes, as a different profile from that of a third party facilitating the process and articulating interests, needs and cosmovisions. This person focusing on advocacy, defense of human rights or visualization of the conflict is called balancer. The need to share the concept and methodological frame of the dialogic approach has been identified to allow balancers to implement their processes from a collaborative and constructive perspective. This could require developing the capacities of these practitioners. • Responsibility. The practice of conflict transformation raises a great challenge as to the limitations and responsibilities of our role as third parties in interventions. Its definition is a pending task for practitioners that seek to outline a behavioral code based on the principles of the dialogic approach that allow for establishing a set of common principles and shared values that nurture our action and permit us to assess our contribution to the processes. 4.3.3. Institutional third parties Owing to the particular context of practitioners’ encounter and the presence of a highly committed group of officers of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the role of this institution was also part of the process of reflection and identification of lessons learned. • UNDP acts as a third and necessary articulator. Therefore, the importance of promoting dialogic approaches at all levels of UNDP system is reaffirmed in order for UNDP to subsequently consolidate the institutionalization of dialogue spaces and place the organization at the service of these spaces with a longterm perspective. • At this point, the Democratic Dialogue Regional Project (DDRP) -with expertise in these processes- has


a key role to play. The potentials of this project are of strategic value to UNDP offices and social groups. •

Network articulation. It is essential to capitalize on the nature of UNDP and DDRP network to strengthen support to dialogue spaces in countries showing weak capacity in this respect.

5. Conclusion Some of the themes identified in this document show that, at one level, participants’ challenges, dilemmas and lessons learned in the socio-environmental context are similar to those identified in other areas of conflict management. Nevertheless, some core issues profiled on the specificity of this theme need to be seriously analyzed. Basically, the need to exchange knowledge between dialogic and socio-environmental processes has been identified. This two-way exchange could entail the strategic assessment of how and when to incorporate dialogue spaces and methodologies in socio-environmental processes, as well as the incorporation of perspectives and dimensions inherent to socio-environmental issues in mechanisms and processes of dialogue. On the other hand, practitioners stressed the need to open sustained learning spaces that would allow for deep reflection on concept and methodological frames to address conflicts related to natural resources, with special emphasis on the cultural aspect. Moreover, the power theme should be incorporated in these reflections as a crosscutting element. A pending and necessary task is also to reflect on a code of ethics or set of principles to accompany the actions of those developing dialogues or dialogic processes, in general, and on socio-environmental conflicts related issues in particular. Addressing above-mentioned themes requires strengthening a sustained space for exchange and learning in a community of practitioners linked to socio-environmental conflicts in order to generate knowledge and propose improved practices towards promoting and consolidating the constructive transformation of these conflicts in the region.



6. References Institutions, activities and material on socio-environmental conflicts United Nations. Climate Change Universidad de la Paz Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano Plasa Grupo Confluencias UICN Futuro Sostenible Casa de la Paz Encrucijadas ambientales [Environmental crossroads] Foro regional sobre transformación de conflictos socioambientales [Regional forum on the transformation of socio-environmental conflicts] Reunión del Grupo Sudamericano de Manejo de Conflictos Socioambientales [Meeting of the South American Group for Socio-environmental Conflict Management] Executive summary. From Conflict to Peacebuilding:The Role of Natural Resources and Environment Book. Cultivating Peace. Conflict and Collaboration in Natural Resource Management Human Development Report 2007/2008. Fighting climate change: Human solidarity in a divided world PNUMA-climate change International Alert Dialogic processes. Frames and tools for analysis and design Back to text Democratic Dialogue Handbook (Pruitt y Thomas, 2008) Do no Harm (CDA) Lederach, John Paul. Preparing for Peace: Conflict Transformation Across Cultures. NY, Syracuse University Press, 1995. Lederach, John Paul. Construyendo la paz: Reconciliación sostenible en sociedades divididas. [Building peace: Sustainable reconciliation in divided societies] Bilbao, España, Bakeaz and Gernika Gogoratuz, 1997 (2nd edition – 2007). Lederach, John Paul. The Little Book of Conflict Transformation, Good Books, 2003. Conflict analysis Back to text


Paquete de Recursos sobre Enfoques Sensibles al Conflicto para el Desarrollo, la Asistencia Humanitaria y la Construcción de la Paz, [Resource Pack on Conflict-Sensitive Approaches to Development, Humanitarian Assistance, and Peacebuilding] Portal de Recursos de Procesos Multiactor [Multistakeholder Processes Resource Portal]

Monitoring and evaluation Back to text Evaluando los impactos de los procesos de diálogo. (PNUD-TCC, 2008) [Assessment of the impacts of dialogue processes. (UNDP-TCC, 2008)] Reflecting on Peace Practice (CDA) Search for Common Ground

Bibliography Lederach, John Paul. Construyendo la paz: Reconciliación sostenible en sociedades divididas [Constructing peace: Sustainable reconciliation in divided societies]. Bilbao, Spain: Bakeaz and Gernika Gogoratuz, 1997 (2nd edition – 2007) Pruitt, B. and Thomas, P. Democratic Dialogue - A Handbook for Practitioners. UNDP, OAS, IDEA, CIDA, 2007. Smith, Dan and Vivekananda, Janani. A Climate of Conflict: The Links Between Climate Change, Peace and War. London, International Alert, 2007. PNUD. Informe de Desarrollo Humano 2007-2008 La lucha contra el cambio climático: Solidaridad frente a un mundo dividido. NY, PNUD, 2007. [UNDP. Human Development Report 2007-2008 Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World. NY, UNDP, 2007.] PNUD-TCC. Evaluando los impactos de los procesos de diálogo. 2008. [UNDP-TCC. Assessment of the impact of dialogue processes. 2008.]


El Enfoque Dialógico en el Abordaje de Conflictos Socio ambientales