The use and management of natural resources in the highlands ecosystems are susceptible to multiple forms of conflicts due to the fragile agro-ecological and social space characterised by the utilisation of natural resources for multiple purposes, by multiple users, and involve complex and unequal relationships among a wide range of social actors and stakeholders.
Based on an analysis of selected case studies, key informants and household interviews, the study identified over 700 conflict cases. These include conflicts between multiple local resource users (agriculturalists, livestock owners, upstream and downstream users) for multiple purposes (cultivation, grazing, income, and domestic uses, etc.), and rules (national policies, byelaws and community regulations), as well as conflicts between local communities' concerns for better livelihoods and national and international concerns for environment conservation.
The results of this study suggest that the current emphasis of social capital in NRM literature should be understood within a broader context of the socio-economic and political economy of NRM. Instead of idealizing social capital, taking it for granted, or ignoring its diverse forms and dimensions, it is important to examine the ways in which social capital and local policies complement each other in solving conflicts over the use and management of natural resources.
Sanginga, P.C. and Kamugisha, R.N. 2004. The role of social capital and local policies in the highlands of southwestern Uganda. Annex B of the Final Technical Report for project R7856, ‘Strengthening social capital for improving policies and decision-making in NRM’. Kampala, Uganda: CIAT - African Highlands Initiative. 79 pp.