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3rd Chengu Festival: Special focus on traditional agriculture

Nagaland News

KOHIMA, JANUARY 11: The 3rd Chengu Festival, with special focus on traditional agriculture will be held on January 20 at Ghukhuyi village in Zunheboto district.

The festival, which is gaining popularity, is being organized by the Tizu Valley Biodiversity Conservation and Livelihood Network and supported by the Japan Fund for Global Environment of the Environmental Restoration & Conservation Agency. The festival will also have exposure visits for communities from January 21 to 24. The festival is named after the Great Barbet, commonly found in the State.
According to organizers, the traditional agriculture pertaining to shifting cultivation is being practiced in Northeast, including Nagaland, since time immemorial. However with modernization and changing Naga society, this tradition is in transition hence it becomes imperative to understand the role of shifting cultivation for sustainable development in the present context.
The TVBCLN said through the festival they intend to compile the traditional practices and wisdom associated with the form of traditional agriculture and make a strong case that shifting cultivation if practiced traditionally is a fine example of how a production system can be adapted to an ecological niche.
Advisor for Arts & Culture Department, H Khehovi Yeputhomi and Agriculture Production Commissioner, Y Kikheto Sema will also attend the festival Special Guest and Guest of Honour.
The Tizu Valley Biodiversity and Livelihood Network won the India Biodiversity Award 2018 in the category of ‘Sustainable Use of Biological Resources (Institution)’.
TVBCLN is located on the bank of Tizu River, one of the main river drainages in the State, which flows through the landscape. This is a joint community conserved areas of 3 villages, namely Sukhai, Kivikhu and Ghukhuyi. The sub-tropical wet hill forest, primarily overlapping with the sub-tropical pine forest, represents a wide range of flora and fauna and acts as an important green corridor between the biodiversity rich forests of Satoi Range and other biodiversity rich areas that harbour endangered and threatened species like the Blyth’s Tragopan, Fishing Cat and Wild Dog. The forest is the place of origin of Kutu, Yayi, Loyi, Sumukhu, Lipi and Yai feeder streams of Tizu River and the River Tizu is home to many native ûsh species and other aquatic life.
According to Nagaland Community Conserved Area Forum, the Tizu River and its surrounding forests have been strained by destruction of forest, uncontrolled hunting, soil erosion, over-exploitation of fish causing fast depletion of fish population, wildlife and the forests resources. In the fear of losing native fish and wildlife, initially Sukhai Village Council has passed a village resolution and declared 789 hectares of forests as CCAs and banned hunting, felling of trees and use of any destructive fishing techniques in the Tizu River. Subsequently, to ensure conservation of large contiguous forest areas, neighbouring villages Kivikhu and Ghukhuyi have made joint efforts and declared 204 hectares and 370 hectares respectively and formed the joint CCAs to conserve around 1363 hectares altogether.
The Energy & Resources Institute, supported by Tilti Trust, has found out that many new and interesting records have already been documented. Flocks of the rare white-headed morph of the Himalayan Black Bulbul have been seen in Sukhai and Kivikhu. The extremely rare birds, Naga Wren-babbler Spelaeornischocolatinus and Hodgson’s Frogmouth have been sighted in the landscape. Amongst the butterflies, the endemic Naga Emperor and the Rufous Silverline have been reported here ~ both are extremely rare species. Amongst the moths, Comostolahauensteini has been recorded for the first time from Nagaland, while Kranandalucidaria has been reported for the first time from India. Despite these very interesting records, the area’s biodiversity remains un-explored. Other butterfly species that were recorded include the Orange-breasted Freak, Manipur Map, Khaki Silverline amongst many others, whose identities are being verified. More than 250 species of moths were recorded including the male and female of the rare Picture-winged Leaf Moth.


The 3rd Chengu Festival will also be attended by officials of TERI, Nagaland University, Department of Forest, Environment and Climate Change, District Administration, scientists and village elders from the neighbouring villages.
(Page News Service)

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