ABSTRACT

Forests provide a wide range of often competing commercial, subsistence and cultural ecosystem services. Largely as a result of conflicting views on how to utilise forests and forest resources, conflicts over the use of forests are common all over the world. One of the most common conflicts arises between local communities and ‘outsiders’ inflicting on their use of the forest. This chapter focuses on two such community–outsider conflicts; conflicts between local communities and plantation owners; and conflicts between local communities and conservation measures, typically imposed by the state. From the viewpoint of the community, the issue at stake in such conflicts is frequently related to their, often unsecure, rights to the forest upon which they depend. To be able to access and make use of legal property rights, the rights holder also needs to have access to knowledge, capital, institutions etc., summarised as ‘power’. In this chapter, community–outsider conflicts are conceptualised through the lens of different types of (forest) property rights and what security they bring to the local communities, as well as through power and unequal power relations and how these affect forest communities.