3Conflicts in coastal zones usually involve theequitable distribution of access to the sea and theconservation of coastal resources. Balancing interests of the various constituencies in the coastal area, as well asensuring the sustainable use of the coastal resources areessential tasks of the coastal manager. In a 1996 cross-national survey, ninety-five percent of the respondentsfrom developing countries and eighty-seven percent of respondents from middle developing countries consideredconflict management as an important function (Cisin-Sainand Knecht, 1998).In coastal areas, there are two kinds of conflicts: 1)user conflicts and 2) agency conflicts. Examples of userconflicts include conflicts between:•navigation vs. fisheries;•fisheries vs. biodiversity conservation;•boundary conflicts;•tourism vs. waste disposal;•small scale fisheries vs. commercial fishing;and•mining vs. fisheries vs. biodiversity.These conflicts can occur in varying degrees. It canbe latent, emerging or manifest. A latent conflict is“characterized by underlying tensions that have not fullydeveloped and have not escalated into a highly polarizedconflict. Often, one or more parties may not be even awareof the existence of the conflict” (ADRP Project, 1997). Anemerging conflict is one where parties are identified andall acknowledge the existence of the dispute. Most issuesare clear, but no workable negotiation or problem-solvingprocess has developed. Finally, manifest conflicts aredisputes in active process. These may be in the negotiationstage or parties may have reached an impasse.Possible causes of user conflicts include:•competition for ocean space, e.g. aquacultureand fisheries;•competition for the same resource, e.g.commercial and small fishermen;•competition for a linked resource, e.g. fishermenand marine mammals pursue salmon;•negative effects of one use on the ecosystemharboring another use, e.g. navigation — oilspills and fisheries; and•competition among users for similar onshorespace or facilities in port harbors, e.g.recreational activities compete with aquaculture(Cisin-Cain and Knecht, 1998).
Conflict is inevitable.•Conflict creates change.•Conflict can transform our understandings of each other.•Conflict leads to a clarification of options and forces competing solutions.•Conflict is double-edged. It carries potential risks and benefits.•Conflict generates energy. Conflict has binding and dividing properties.•Conflicts can be productive or unproductive
Source: ADRP Project, 1997.
Assumptions in a Conflict
The Basics of AppropriateDispute Resolution: A Must Read forCoastal Managers
n a region composed of almost 1.8 billion peoplewhere resources are steadily diminishing, coastal conflicts areinevitable. People usually have different ideas on how coastal resources should beused, thus, giving rise to conflicts.