With the current complexity of issues facing forest and land management, the implementation of the REDD+ initiative comes with significant risks, including conflict. While the exact nature and shape of conflict in REDD+ implementation is difficult to pinpoint, this study aims to build a preliminary predictive framework to identify possible sources of impairment that may result in conflict over management of forests and natural resources. The framework was developed from an extensive literature review and was tested in three REDD+ pilot project sites in Nepal. The results indicate that most of the sources of impairment are present in all study sites, particularly issues relating to benefit sharing, which have been main drivers of conflict prior to REDD+. While we found that the application of the framework has been useful in the Nepalese context, there are some limitations in its scope and precision. Nonetheless, this study points to important implications with regards to REDD+ implementation and conflict management that can be useful for policy makers and practitioners involved in REDD+ strategy designs, as well as other areas of forest management involving outsiders and communities.