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Company-Led Approaches to Conflict Resolution in the Forest Sector

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This discussion paper explores the potential for addressing conflict in the forest sector through the use of company-led tools and mechanisms. A major conflict issue for many is that of recognising and negotiating rights to land and resources. Conflicts also arise between companies and communities or civil society organisations over conservation priorities, environmental pollution and benefit sharing. Norms and standards that influence company efforts to develop their own conflict resolution mechanisms include certification standards, voluntary industry guidelines, project finance requirements and international norms. The key concept of “free, prior and informed consent” or FPIC is explored in this paper. The paper also offers examples of tools and approaches being employed by companies and non-industry players working closely with companies to address conflict-related issues.

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