Conflict and cooperation over REDD+ in Mexico, Nepal and Vietnam (CoCooR)

The Conflict and cooperation over REDD+ in Mexico, Nepal and Vietnam project, commonly known as “CoCooR” is an interdisciplinary cross-country project with a focus on analysis of conflicts and co-operation. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), and the enhancement and sustainable use of forest carbon stocks is an international policy framework promoted to align forest governance in developing countries with climate change mitigation objectives and to contribute towards poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation, through both national policies and concrete projects.

CCMCC | Presentation CoCooR at Adaptation Futures 2018


Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, and the enhancement and sustainable use of forest carbon stocks (REDD+) is an international policy framework promoted to align forest governance in developing countries with climate change mitigation objectives and to contribute towards poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation. The CoCooR project has analysed the extent to which REDD+ policy design and early implementation have resulted in increased conflict or cooperation in Mexico, Nepal and Vietnam. We have identified divergent claims about REDD+ across the three studied countries at both policy and project levels, resulting in grievances around how much focus should the government put on carbon accounting and monitoring as a means to generate economic incentives for participant communities, and who should control such revenues. We have also found that the necessary level of participation and informed consent that is required for REDD+ to be legitimate has been uneven, with more related conflict observed in Vietnam and less so in Mexico and Nepal. Overall, the research has unearthed diverse instances of conflict related to either historical struggles over land and forest rights (Vietnam) or unsettled debates about procedural fairness in forest policy and rural development design that REDD+ has not yet contributed to resolve.


Papers and briefs


CoCooR - Conflict and cooperation over REDD+ in Mexico, Nepal and Vietnam
REDD+ needs to become conflict sensitive in order to be effective in its environmental and social-economic goals. Dr Esteve Corbera discusses this statement in the context of the impacts REDD+ has had on developing countries at the policy and social levels.


Conflict transformation in REDD+ by Gyanu Maskey
This blog looks at issues facing Nepal’s adoption of conflict-sensitive REDD+ mechanisms and how researchers can learn to be more considerate approaches that could reduce conflict and risk



CoCooR focuses on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and related forest-based climate change mitigation policies and financing mechanisms with direct effects on sustainable development and poverty reduction.

REDD+ may aggravate the protracted conflicts characterizing forestry in the Global South or cause new ones in the absence of a conflict-sensitive approach. Yet, the changes in cross-scale governance brought about by REDD+ may also provide unprecedented opportunities for transforming existing conflicts and promoting cooperation.

CoCooR seeks to strengthen the evidence on the impacts of REDD+ on conflict and cooperation in developing countries through research in Mexico, Nepal and Vietnam, three countries at advanced stages of REDD+ offering excellent opportunities for generating insights relevant to other countries. Application of an environmental justice lens is expected to generate novel understanding of cross-scale conflict and cooperation over forests.
This knowledge innovation allows CoCooR to develop a conflict prediction checklist for REDD+ practitioners, produce recommendations on conflict-sensitive national safeguards processes for decision makers and provide relevant training to local communities, grassroots organizations, NGOs, government and project developers.

By involving national institutions and ambitious postdoctoral staff as equal partners, CoCooR makes unique contributions to capacity development with regards to the ability to investigate, provide advice and implement tools for conflict-sensitive REDD+ policy and practice.

CoCooR brings together world leaders on REDD+ research and practice with national research institutions of excellence on the basis of existing collaborations. The partners draw on recent environmental justice research to examine how the production of injustices and politics of justice associated with the development of REDD+ affect conflict and cooperation over forests. They survey REDD+ conflicts in Mexico, Nepal, Vietnam and worldwide, investigate local-level dynamics in six REDD+ demonstration sites, analyze national safeguards processes, and examine the empirical results from comparative and theoretical perspectives. The research employs transdisciplinary methodology drawing on ethnography, discourse analysis and participatory research in a broadly inductive approach.

CoCooR uses the new knowledge on conflict and cooperation over forests and innovative theoretical understanding of cross-scale dynamics of conflict and cooperation to engage with various kinds of REDD+ policy makers and other stakeholders in the three countries, South/Southeast Asia and worldwide. CoCooR also develops close linkages to other CoCooN projects and deepens the partners' integration in global networks of excellence in research and practice on conflicts, climate change, environmental justice and forests.


Scientific article

Professional publication

  • T Sikor(2014): CoCooR Project Pamphlet
  • T. Sikor, P. Satyal, H. Almanza Alcalde, H. Dhungana, D Gritten, C. Hoang(2014): Second Norwich Declaration on Environmental Justice from safeguarding to mainstreaming local rights: Democratic forest governance as pre-requisite for a just and effective REDD+
  • E Corbera(2017): Project final workshop flyer
  • D Gritten(2017): CCMCC REDD+ Webinar Flyer

Publication meant for a broad audience

  • n/a RECOFTC(2016): Conflict in REDD+: An analysis of sources of conflict based on case studies from South and Southeast Asia

Publications for the general public

  • P Satyal(2014): Media appearances
  • P Satyal(2015): FLARE Conference Presentation, 2015
  • D Gritten(2016): Forests, climate change, and equity in Viet Nam. REDD+ equity challenges and solutions according to national stakeholders
  • H Dhungana(2016): Presentation at internal project meeting, UEA, UK
  • H Phan(2016): Internal project meeting presentation, Vietnam (I), UEA, UK
  • H Almanza-Alcalde(2016): Project internal meeting presentation, UEA, UK
  • C Hoang(2016): Internal project meeting presentation, UEA, UK
  • E Corbera(2016): Project presentation in Utrecht 2016
  • E Corbera(2016): Presentation on climate change, forests and REDD+
  • H. Almanza-Alcalde(2016): Mexico Stakeholder Workshop Report
  • E Corbera(2016): Presentation in Mexico's stakeholder workshop 2016
  • n/a RECOFTC(2016): FPIC Training Report
  • n/a RECOFTC(2017): Transforming Conflict Training Report
  • The Community(2017): Vietnam's Photovoice Booklet
  • G Maskey(2017): THROUGH OUR EYES. Changes and Continuity in Rural Landscapes. Photovoice exhibition report.
  • H Almanza-Alcalde(2017): Nuestra Vida Rarámuri en el bosque - Photovoice exhibition report
  • H Almanza-Alcalde(2017): Stakeholder Analysis Report - Mexico
  • H Cam(2017): Stakeholder analysis report - Vietnam
  • The Community(2017): Nepal's Photovoice Booklet
  • H Cam(2017): Stakeholder workshop report - Vietnam
  • H Dhungana(2017): Towards a Just REDD+: Transforming Forest Conflicts in Nepal
  • n/a RECOFTC(2017): FPIC Training Report 2017
  • H Dhungana(2017): Stakeholder workshop report - Nepal
  • E Corbera(2017): List of project videos
  • P Satyal(2017): Presentation at the Earth System Governance conference 2017
  • CCMCC CCMCC Programme(2017): CCMCC Findings for Nepal
  • H Dhungana(2017): Stakeholder analysis report - Nepal
  • C Hoang(2017): Vietnam's Photovoice Exhibition Report
  • n/a RECOFTC(2018): Transformative Mediation of Forest Conflicts Manual (Draft)
  • E Corbera(2018): POLLEN conference presentation
  • E Corbera(2018): CoCooR findings synthesis presentation
  • RECOFTC RECOFTC(2018): Applying Rights Based Approach to Forest Governance
  • H Almanza-Alcalde(2018): REDD+ in Mexico: Towards a just and conflict-sensitive approach to reduce land-use emissions
  • n/a RECOFTC(2018): Transforming Forest Conflicts Manual (Draft Version)


Project number

W 07.68.415

Main applicant

Prof. T. Sikor

Affiliated with

University of East Anglia

Team members

Dr. H. Almanza Alcalde, G. Bennett, Mr. T. de Bruyn, Dr. H. Cam, Dr. E. Corbera, Dr. H. Dhungana, A. Grais, Dr. D. Gritten, P.P. Hao MA, G. Maskey, H.P. Phan, Prof. T. Sikor, R. Triraganon


01/02/2014 to 01/10/2018