Notes to broadcasters
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Many conflicts develop over the use of natural resources, such as forests, land, water, and wildlife. Not everyone will respond to these conflicts in the same way. The story in this script presents different reactions that people may have to a conflict. Typical responses include withdrawing, becoming aggressive, giving up, giving in, compromising and cooperating.
Make sure that the different characters in the story have distinct voices so that your listeners can distinguish between them. Following the story, you might want to invite a panel to discuss the different responses to the conflict. Panel members could include a village elder or other members of the community who have experience in conflict resolution.
When conflict exists in your community, keep listeners informed with regular updates about the situation, and by inviting representatives from both sides to present their views.
: Salma’s brother
: another brother
THEME MUSIC. HOLD UNDER NARRATOR.
: In recent programs, we’ve talked about issues that arise during or after conflicts like war or natural disaster, or conflicts over natural resources. Today we’re going to hear a short story that shows how different people respond differently to conflict. While you’re listening to the story, think about how you respond to conflict, and why you have that particular response.
Now let’s meet Salma and her brothers, Ambreen and Sunil. When Salma comes across two men cutting trees in the forest, she’s very surprised. She runs home to tell her brothers…
: (breathless) You’ll never guess what I saw in the forest! I think you should come quickly and see.
: First… try to calm down Salma… Now, tell us what you saw.
: Two boys from [_____village
] are cutting trees in the forest. Clearing the land!
: Are you sure about that Salma? Our two villages have an agreement – we share the forest. Both villages can use it, but no person from either village can clear land.
: I know what I saw. There is no doubt that they are clearing the forest to grow crops. They’re going against the rules. What can we do?
: Dear sister, there’s nothing we can do.
: But, Ambreen, of course we can do something. We can go to our village head. Salma can tell him what she saw.
: Then maybe he can speak with the head of [name of other village] and explain what is happening.
: But the boys will be angry. They may start to make trouble.
: Ambreen, we have to do something. We can’t allow the forest to be cleared. We must take action. Going to the village head is the right thing to do. What are you afraid of?
: I don’t want to start any trouble. Many people here have relatives in the next village. Tension could develop between the two villages, and within families. I don’t want to be involved.
: I understand your point, Ambreen. Maybe there’s another approach we can take. Why don’t we go back to the forest and talk to those boys? We can give them a warning. If they don’t stop clearing the land, then we can go to the village head.
: I agree with your plan Salma…let’s go back to the forest now!
MUSIC AND HOLD QUIETLY UNDER NARRATOR.
: Sunil and Ambreen had different reactions when they heard about the cutting in the forest. Sunil wanted to do something immediately, but Ambreen was worried about stirring up trouble. It’s common for people to respond differently to tense situations. Some people withdraw or give in, some become aggressive, others are willing to cooperate. How do you deal with conflict?
Let’s turn to our panel now and hear their reactions to this story. Perhaps they have some advice that we haven’t thought of for solving this conflict …
– END –
- Contributed by Jennifer Pittet, Thornbury, Ontario, Canada.
- Reviewed by Daniel Buckles, PhD, Senior Program Specialist, International Development Research Council, Ottawa, Canada.
- Cultivating peace: Conflict and collaboration in natural resource management, edited by Daniel Buckles, 1999. International Development Research Centre, PO Box 8500, Ottawa, Canada K1G 3H9.