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CABI Book Chapter

Shifting cultivation policies: balancing environmental and social sustainability.

Book cover for Shifting cultivation policies: balancing environmental and social sustainability.


This book is a compilation of policy analyses on shifting cultivation throughout South and Southeast Asia. It is hoped that the availability of these analyses of past and present policies will help governments to formulate better informed policies towards shifting cultivation, that will ultimately contribute to both poverty reduction amongst upland peoples and improved conservation of the forests ...


Chapter 18 (Page no: 344)

Reflections on the impacts of state policies on shifting cultivators in northeast India.

This chapter is an attempt to explore and understand the impacts of various state policies (including forest, agricultural, land-use and watershed development polices, and externally aided projects) on shifting cultivators in northeast India. Overall state policies, well intended in design, strategies and approaches, have transformed the lives of many shifting cultivators. At the same time, many policies have also brought them new and unintended challenges. Broadly, these opportunities and challenges apply to the social, cultural, economic, environmental, physical and knowledge domains of shifting cultivators. The present study is an appreciation of this wide range of impacts, with reflections on opportunities for ways forward.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 3) Figments of fire and forest: shifting cultivation policy in the Philippines and Indonesia. Author(s): Ploeg, J. van der Persoon, G. A.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 27) Shifting cultivation policies in Southeast Asia: a need to work with, rather than against, smallholder farmers. Author(s): Mertz, O. Bruun, T. B.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 43) Policies impacting shifting cultivation: getting them right. Author(s): Falvey, J. L.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 64) Trends in shifting cultivation policy: four decades of efforts to intensify land use in the shifting cultivation tracts of mainland Southeast Asia. Author(s): Oughton, G.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 90) Tenure and shifting cultivation. Author(s): Weinstock, J. A.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 97) The geopolitics of shifting cultivation in Thailand: a brief history of the 'hill tribe problem'. Author(s): McKinnon, K.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 113) The French colonial administration versus swidden cultivation: from political discourse to coercive policies in French Indochina. Author(s): Guérin, M.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 129) Lao swidden farmers: from self-initiated mobility to permanent-settlement trends imposed by policy, 1830 to 2000. Author(s): Chazée, L.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 157) Romanticizing and villainizing shifting cultivators within national policies: co-producing ethnic politics and resource-use legitimacy in Thailand's community forestry debate. Author(s): Forsyth, T. Walker, A.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 174) Conservation and restoration of traditional grasslands in the Mount Aso region of Kyushu, Japan: the role of collaborative management and public policy support. Author(s): Takahashi, Y. Neef, A. Yokogawa, H.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 194) The viability of swidden agriculture and its uncertain role in REDD+. Author(s): Ziegler, A. D. Borstein, D. Yuen JiaQi
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 207) Involving all local stakeholders and holders of land-use rights in REDD+: indigenous people and/or local communities in Indonesia. Author(s): Royer, S. de Visser, L. E. Noordwijk, M. van Galudra, G. Pradhan, U.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 226) Rethinking swidden cultivation in Myanmar: policies for sustainable upland livelihoods and food security. Author(s): Springate-Baginski, O.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 242) Swidden agriculture under threat: the case of Ratanakiri, northeast Cambodia: opportunities and constraints from the national policy environment. Author(s): Ironside, J. Paterson, G. Thomas, A.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 269) The growing voice of the state in the fallows of Laos. Author(s): Ducourtieux, O.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 295) Swidden agriculture and sloping land conversion in China's Dulong Valley: impact and adaptation. Author(s): Shen ShiCai Li DiYu Zhang FuDou Xu GaoFeng Wilkes, A. Yin Lun Jin GuiMei
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 310) Policies on shifting cultivation in the countries of the eastern Himalayas. Author(s): Phuntsho, K. Rawat, G. S. Rasul, G. Wu Ning
Chapter: 19 (Page no: 379) Vanishing shifting cultivation and loss of tribal culture in Arunachal Pradesh, northeastern India. Author(s): Riba, T.
Chapter: 20 (Page no: 393) Shifting cultivation on steep slopes of Mizoram, India: impact of policy reforms. Author(s): Tripathi, S. K. Vanlalfakawma, D. C. Lalnunmawia, F.
Chapter: 21 (Page no: 414) State land policies and shifting cultivation in Odisha, India. Author(s): Kundan Kumar
Chapter: 22 (Page no: 441) The dragon and its attempts to put out the fire. Author(s): Dukpa, C.
Chapter: 23 (Page no: 449) From farmers to foresters? Response to pine encroachment on former swidden fields in Choekhor Valley, Bumthang district, Bhutan. Author(s): Yoder, L. S. M. Phuntsho, S. Conrad, A. J. Doren, H. Haney, R. Johantgen, C. LeBoeuf, K. Miller, S. Reich-Aviles, Z. Ritter, A. Zegas, G.
Chapter: 24 (Page no: 460) Keeping ecological disturbance on the land: recreating swidden effects in Bhutan. Author(s): Siebert, S. F. Belsky, J. M.
Chapter: 25 (Page no: 470) Shifting cultivation in Vietnam: impacts of various policy reforms. Author(s): Catacutan, D. Nguyen Thi Hoa Do Trong Hoan Simelton, E. Hoang Thi Lua
Chapter: 26 (Page no: 486) Misinterpreting the uplands of Vietnam: how government policies and maps lead to a misunderstanding of swidden and its associated livelihood systems. Author(s): Leisz, S. J.
Chapter: 27 (Page no: 502) Changing patterns of shifting cultivation in Timor-Leste. Author(s): McArthur, H. J. Friday, J. B. Jones, M. J.
Chapter: 28 (Page no: 518) Evolving swidden farming patterns in the Lao PDR: when policy reverses historically mobile ways of life to impose permanently settled livelihoods. Author(s): Chazée, L.
Chapter: 29 (Page no: 542) 'Your land is needed': the fundamental reason behind the sedentarization of shifting cultivators. Author(s): Koninck, R. de Pham Thanh Hai
Chapter: 30 (Page no: 555) Was Thailand's highland policy misdirected? Author(s): Suwannarat, G.
Chapter: 31 (Page no: 577) Opium and shifting cultivation in Laos: state discourses and policies. Author(s): Cohen, P. T.
Chapter: 32 (Page no: 593) Eliminating opium from the Lao PDR: impoverishment and threat of resumption of poppy cultivation following 'illusory' eradication. Author(s): Ducourtieux, O. Sacklokham, S. Doligez, F.
Chapter: 33 (Page no: 618) Giving up fallows and indigenous swiddens in times of global land grabbing. Author(s): Leemann, E. Nikles, B.
Chapter: 34 (Page no: 636) The effects of commercial agriculture and swidden-field privatization in southern Laos. Author(s): Srikham, W.
Chapter: 35 (Page no: 649) From traditional subsistence to commercial agriculture: a downward trend towards food insecurity in rural Lao PDR. Author(s): Pasicolan, P. N. Thatheva, S. Pasicolan, T. J. A.
Chapter: 36 (Page no: 668) Policies, migration and coffee cultivation in Vietnam's central highlands: a case study in Dak Lak province. Author(s): Truong Hong
Chapter: 37 (Page no: 686) The Chayanov life cycle in upland villages of Laos: socio-economic differentiation driven by state involvement. Author(s): Ducourtieux, O.
Chapter: 38 (Page no: 702) Policy-driven changes in Lisu swiddening: social organization as adaptation to a new economy. Author(s): Gillogly, K.
Chapter: 39 (Page no: 717) From a complex to degraded system: laws, customs, market forces and legal pluralism in the Cordillera, northern Philippines. Author(s): Prill-Brett, J.
Chapter: 40 (Page no: 732) Vietnam's 'renovation' policies: impacts on upland communities and sustainable forest management. Author(s): Tran Thi Thu Ha Pham Van Dien
Chapter: 41 (Page no: 750) Changes in species distribution and plant resources after the cessation of swidden cultivation in Northern Thailand. Author(s): Fukushima, M.
Chapter: 42 (Page no: 761) Top-down or bottom-up? The role of the government and local institutions in regulating shifting cultivation in the Upper Siang district, eastern Himalaya, India. Author(s): Karthik Teegalapalli Aparajita Datta
Chapter: 43 (Page no: 777) Transitional upland rice cropping systems in Northern Thailand: priorities for research and development, on the basis of on-farm crop diagnosis. Author(s): Keer, K. van Trébuil, G.
Chapter: 44 (Page no: 799) Lessons learned in Northern Thailand: twenty years of implementation of highland agricultural development and natural resource management projects. Author(s): Hoare, P.
Chapter: 45 (Page no: 819) Putting upland agriculture on the map: the TABI experience in Laos. Author(s): Heinimann, A. Flint, C. Bernhard, R. Hett, C.
Chapter: 46 (Page no: 837) Negotiating for community forestry policy: the recognition of damar agroforests in Indonesia. Author(s): Herawati, T. Foresta, H. de Rohadi, D. Banjade, M. R. Fay, C.
Chapter: 47 (Page no: 857) Land law and swidden cultivation: Indonesian adat communities and the struggle for statutory rights. Author(s): Minarchek, R. D.
Chapter: 48 (Page no: 875) Existing village regulations for natural resource management: a key entry point for community participation in sustainable management. Author(s): Hoare, P.
Chapter: 49 (Page no: 889) Policies that transform shifting cultivation practices: linking multi-stakeholder and participatory processes with knowledge and innovations. Author(s): Karki, M. B.
Chapter: 50 (Page no: 917) Codification of customary communal tenure of upland shifting cultivation communities in Myanmar. Author(s): Andersen, K. E.
Chapter: 51 (Page no: 943) Shifting cultivation policy decisions that count. Author(s): MacDicken, K. G.
Chapter: 52 (Page no: 952) Lessons learned from the identification and implementation of policies affecting shifting cultivation in the Asia-Pacific region: a summary. Author(s): Found, W. C.

Chapter details

  • Author Affiliation
  • India Country Office of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), New Delhi, India.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2017
  • ISBN
  • 9781786391797
  • Record Number
  • 20173323238