The Agoua Forest in Benin was declared a protected area in 1953 and subsequently managed by means of a coercion system, which,
however, did not prevent its deforestation. In 2002, a participatory management process was designed to restore this forest.
Although the project managers and local communities agreed to a plan at the beginning of the process, the plan was not implemented
because conflict arose in the course of the process. In this paper, an interactional framing approach was used to analyse
the emergence of this conflict, which ended in an impasse. This study showed that the conflict was constructed and evolved
mainly in stakeholders' discourses, even without changes in actual forest management and use. Moreover, it became clear that
stakeholders constructed different frames in different conversation contexts: stakeholders, who share a set of perceptions,
norms, and expectations as constructed and expressed in their talks (we-groups), constructed stereotypes and stigmas, blaming
the other party and presenting themselves as innocent victims. In conversations involving all stakeholders, people did not
reveal their real thoughts, either about each other or about the proposals for conflict resolution. This study shows the relevance
and agency of discourse in conflict, and the importance of the interactional framing approach in understanding participatory
management, and conflict dynamics. It reveals how by means of discourses, farmers in the Agoua Forest succeeded in handling
the conflict, with the effect that little has been done in the project's decision to implement the plan.