Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Extensive research on the role of natural resources in conflict has been undertaken over the last years. Nevertheless, gaps still exist in the implementation of research findings into concrete measures for development cooperation, especially concerning the constructive role of resource governance in prevention of conflicts.
The project "Strengthening Aquatic Resource Governance" (STARGO) has explored the role of collective actions in the management of fisheries and water resources. From 2011-2014 adelphi and its partner WorldFish worked with government, community and civil society actors to build resilience of poor rural producers facing intense competition around environmental resources on Lake Victoria (Uganda), Lake Kariba (Zambia), and the Tonle Sap Lake (Cambodia). STARGO developed innovative participative mechanisms to identify potential conflicts early and improve the cooperation between civil society groups, private sector and public authorities in order to avoid them. The initiative tested and applied a common approach to stakeholder engagement called "Collaborating for Resilience" to help local stakeholders in developing a shared understanding of risks and opportunities, weighing alternative actions, developing action plans, and evaluating and learning from the outcomes.
Ultimately, STARGO helped (1) to increase community voices in private sector investment decisions , (2) to secure access rights for marginalized households in the face of competition, (3) to strengthen community-based co-management of fisheries, (4) to protect lake resources, and (5) to improve sanitation.