Toolkit and Guidance for Preventing and Managing Land and Natural Resources Conflict cover image

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Date of publication: 
December 2002
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This publication may be reproduced in whole or in part and in any form for educational or non-prot purposes without special permission from the copyright holder, provided acknowledgement of the source is made. No use of this publication may be made for resale or for any other commercial purpose whatsoever without prior permission in writing from the United Nations Interagency Framework Team for Preventive Action or UNEP.

The role of land and natural resources in conflict is attracting increased international attention due to the changing nature of armed conflict and as a result of a variety of longer-term, global trends. This Guidance Note provides policy and programmatic guidance to UN and EU officials confronted with land-related grievances and conflicts.

Land and natural resource issues are almost never the sole cause of conflict. Land conflicts commonly become violent when linked to wider processes of political exclusion, social discrimination, economic marginalization, and a perception that peaceful action is no longer a viable strategy for change.

Land issues readily lend themselves to conflict. Land is an important economic asset and source of livelihoods; it is also closely linked to community identity, history and culture. Communities, therefore, can readily mobilize around land issues, making land a central object of conflict. Tensions over land may also be closely related to, or manipulated by, political interests.

Addressing land grievances and conflicts is fundamental to creating sustainable peace. International assistance should prioritize the early and sustained engagement in land issues as part of a broader conflict prevention strategy. Such early attention can reduce the human, economic, social, environmental costs of conflict.

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United Nations Interagency Framework Team for Preventive Action logo
United Nations Agency

The United Nations Interagency Framework Team for Preventive Action (the Framework Team or FT) is an internal United Nations (UN) support mechanism that assists UN Resident Coordinators (RCs) and UN Country Teams (UNCTs) in developing conict prevention strategies and programmes. The FT works closely with UN departments and UN agencies, funds and programmes (UN AFPs) to improve programme effectiveness through better interagency collaboration within Headquarters, and between Headquarters and the eld.

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